Wedding Cookie Favors

It is a beautiful time of year around the bakery. It is wedding season. We have been busy making beautiful wedding cookie favors. We have been so busy that our last blog post is from January. Sigh.  I have to ask myself, “Where did the last 6 months go?” We have been working hard hand crafting wedding cookie favors for your bridal showers, goodie bags, dessert tables and more. Everyone bride has their own color palette. Every bride has her own style. May some of our cookies inspire you as you begin to plan your wedding.

Peacock Themed Wedding Cookie Favors

peacock themed wedding favors

Peacock feathers first became a popular design during the Art Nouveau movement. The peacock’s gorgeous plumes with their rich iridescent hue and delicate silhouette continue to be a popular way to add a touch of exotic to your wedding.

Boho Chic Wedding Cookie Favors

feather sugar cookie favors

Feathers are all the rage right now. Boho chic style is based on various bohemian and hippie influences.  The Boho decor is supposed to be a romantic and perfect for the brides who don’t want too many oranate details. Feathers are the perfect favor for guests and a boho chic wedding.

Nautical Themed Wedding Cookie Favors

nautical themed wedding cookie favors

Nautical Love. From nautical knots to monogrammed anchors; nautical weddings are a romantic setting for those who love the sea.

Black and White Stripe Themed Wedding Cookie Favors

black and white stripe themed cookies

Black and white striped weddings have a striking elegance. Brides who love bold lines, pops of color with florals and undertones of gold often choose this wedding theme. They are by far our most popular wedding cookies.

Shabby Chic Themed Wedding Cookie Favors

shabby chic wedding cookie favors

The shabby chic wedding loves all things distressed and vintage.  Shabby chic is a little a bit rustic, a little bit antique with gorgeous old time florals.

State Love Wedding Cookie Favors

state themed sugar cookies


What state are you from? Do you want to represent the state you love when you get married?  Cookies are fun favor to show off the love of where you are from.



Developing a Mission Statement

 Developing a Mission Statement

There are two ways to react when you hear the words MISSION STATEMENT…..the first is to do what I did and become an African history major. If the temptation of retail management is not alluring, you will be forced to think about developing a mission statement. Please do not steal from Tom Cruise and entitle your mission statement “The Things We Think and Do Not Say.” Let’s say it together now, “SHOW ME THE MONEY.” Now that we have that out of our system, we can move on. You MUST not only think about your mission statement, but you must understand what a mission statement is and detail it in writing. While this might sound easy enough, “I want pretty cookies; I am going to kill myself trying to enroll in Cupcake Wars and figure out how Clorox Bleach can be used as their mystery ingredient; I want to feed one person at a time and make the world a better place; and so on.” Please keep in mind that you are not in a beauty pageant and you are no longer meeting at the YMCA for your “baking hobby,” but you have determined that you have a business. This is “your diet starts today.” Please keep in mind when reading this posting that I am not going to use the depth necessary that you will have to use when you actually compose your business plan. Additionally, just because you started without a business plan, does not mean that you don’t need to write one now. Without a business plan, you will have no way to evaluate the day to day opportunities for potential business that knock on your door. The first question is always “where do I begin?” There are three questions that are essential to all business plans.

Let’s start with the three key questions. 1) What are the opportunities or needs that exist that you need to address? (the purpose of your venture). 2) What are you doing to address these needs? (the business of the venture); and 3) What principles or beliefs guide your work? (the values of the venture). Your purpose is as simple as it sounds. Everything else is in place to help you accomplish your mission. The clarity that you use here is important, because all your goals, actions you take and the way you spend your time will be guided by this statement. For those of you who are still awake, we can now begin.

Answering the following questions will help you when developing a mission statement for your business:

Number 1:

1) What are the opportunities or needs that you exist to address. You need to focus on the fact that baking is an opportunity. A niche has been created through television shows such as “Ace of Cakes,” “Cupcake Wars, etc.” for custom cakes, cupcakes and cookies. The reality is that this niche started long before our favorite television show, as cakes became more and more elegant. We have long since graduated from my personal favorite, “the yellow iced smiley faced cookie with the brown features.” Now that you have identified the opportunity: that there is a potential market for customized cakes and cookies. Are you done? No. You will need to identify what is the scope of the opportunity? Is there an opportunity in town for a local brick and mortar bakery and do you want to fill it? Is there an opportunity for a wholesaler? Do I want to be a wholesaler?  Does your state allow for a home based bakery and would this fit your situation better? There are additional factors that we are not going to cover such as potential staffing concerns, insurance and other factors that should be considered if you are going to open a facility. There are many other steps that you would have to take to properly identify what the opportunity is as you are writing a business plan. You may also engage in a demographic study to determine the saturation point based upon demographics and market participants, but this is also outside the scope of both this post as well as a standard business plan. You can now look to how you are going to address these needs. Are you going to limit your reach locally or nationally?

Number 2:

2) What are you doing to address these needs? There are obvious steps that many have taken.
You can incorporate or organize my business using whatever structure is recommended by my attorney, my accountant, or the check-out girl at the local supermarket. You will go out and have business cards printed. Here is where it gets tricky, “do you pay for a website or utilize Facebook and social media?” I would recommend a website. If you are truly trying to launch a business, you need a landing page. It is difficult to find businesses through web based searches without a landing page. Also, as you engage in social media to get word of your endeavor out, you want to have a centralized page that links to all of your social media. There are always local opportunities that will present themselves for advertising. The caveat here would be whether you are going to be a brick and mortar store or a home based business utilizing the internet. If you are a local brick and mortar store, local advertising will probably have more value than if you are a home based business. Social media is a key and many people outsource their social media, but I cannot stress enough that if you don’t learn every step of your business, even the steps you have relegated to employees or third parties, your business will fail. A business owner needs to know every aspect of their business. You will need to learn unit pricing for ingredients and whether it is more cost effective to buy locally or online. You will need to assess labor cost, including your own, and determine the cost of goods sold. You will have to determine your profit margin and what you need to make on each good sold. You need to be cognizant of what you are doing to address the opportunity with your business, while keeping in mind that if you are not making any money “YOU WERE WRONG. THERE WAS NO OPPORTUNITY IN YOUR MARKET.” If you have determined that there is not only an opportunity, but there is a way to address the opportunity in terms of creating a business, you can now move on to step three.

Number 3:

3) What principles or beliefs guide your work? With the proliferation of the internet, people can shop online for baked goods and have them sent directly to your home. Is this enough? No. You now have to identify specifics such as “will I use only organics, will I be known as a local sourcer of ingredients, am I going to focus on local opportunities or national, and so forth.” This is where your values will help you determine not only the potential opportunity, but whether it matches who you are. Please do not misunderstand, your values will not control every aspect of your business, but it will establish who you are as a business. You have to keep to your overall principles not only in terms of how you run your business but also in evaluating potential clients or opportunities in the course and scope of your daily operations. If you have identified that you want to be a niche bakery, don’t buy out the local bakery who operates in a ten thousand square foot space just because it is a cash cow and will put you on the map. If you are not a wholesaler, don’t take the opportunity to be the wholesaler for the local supermarket chain. YOU MUST STICK to your principles. You might as why is this important? I would advise you to look at several companies that are no longer in business because they changed their core principles, such as Circuit City.

As I stated in the beginning, this posting is not to be an exhaustive exercise in how to write a business plan as much as identifying the three key questions to get you started on your way. If you care enough about starting a business, you have to care enough to protect your investment of time, money and energy. This starts with a business plan. If this is not for you, join me with a liberal arts degree and we can co-manage a retail store together.

Did you miss the first blog post? No worries. Here is the link: Building Block Number 1

Have questions? Feel free to leave a blog comment. My husband would love to help answer your questions about building a solid foundation for your business.

developing a mission statement

Six Sisters’ Stuff Cookbook {Giveaway}

Six Sisters’ Stuff  Cookbook Giveaway

If you follow me on social media, I am constantly saying that my cookies get to have all the fun. This summer I got to make cookies for TSRI’s Sizzling Summer Getaway and Kristen from Six Sisters’ Stuff received a gift box of our cookies. Now I like to consider myself savvy. So of course when you are making cookie gifts for some of the country’s best bloggers cookies, one must include salted butterscotch cookies. I know, it’s shameless. I stuck addictive substances into their gift boxes. Now the disclaimer is, that when I created our Salted Butterscotch cookies I had no idea the affect they would have on people.  I feel really honored that Kristen reached out to us to make a little something special for the Six Sister’s Getaway to Chicago this winter.


You know what I love about making cookies, is that inspiration is everywhere. Do you see the red snowflake at the top of their 12 Days of Christmas cookbook? That is where I got the inspiration for the red snowflakes for their cookie sets.


My assistant Cassia, received the Six Sisters’ Stuff Family Cookbook not too long ago. It’s funny just last week she was telling me about some of the awesome recipes she has tried. Cassia’s mom bought the Six Sisters’ Stuff Cookbook for her  birthday in May, and right away she knew it would be one of her favorites. Their recipes are simple and have accessible, non-intimidating ingredients, which is perfect for people like me! Her new favorite recipe, Creamy Chicken Lasagna, is from this cookbook. She has also made the Cheesy Garlic Texas Toast (with the lasagna, as recommended!), Crispy Onion Chicken (easily another new favorite), the amazing Turkey Meatball Subs, and several other things that have all been easy to make and turned out to be delicious.


I decided that my cookies shouldn’t get to have all the fun, you should have some fun too. Kristen offered to giveaway a brand new 12 Days of Christmas Cookbook to a lucky reader of mine! Enter using the rafflecopter widget below to win this amazing cookbook full of all things awesome and fun!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Congratulations to Shannon Hopper for winning our giveaway!!! 

White Christmas Cookies

White Christmas Cookies

It’s funny how seasons come and seasons go. I think when you are in Arizona you dream of a white Christmas more than most folks around the country. Some times I dream about temperatures being lower than 70 degrees on Christmas morning. A girl can dream, right? That is the wonderful thing about creating decorated cookies. Instead of dreaming about a white Christmas, I can create white Christmas cookies. It’s funny many times when I create a set of cookies they make me sing. As I spent my time designing this set, I found myself crooning away…I’m dreaming of a white Christmas…

White Christmas Cookies

I’m dreaming of a white Christmas
Just like the ones I used to know
Where the treetops glisten,
and children listen
To hear sleigh bells in the snow

White Christmas Cookies

I’m dreaming of a white Christmas
With every Christmas card I write
May your days be merry and bright
And may all your Christmases be white

White Christmas Cookies

I’m dreaming of a white Christmas
With every Christmas card I write
May your days be merry and bright
And may all your Christmases be white

White Christmas Cookies

While I get to make cookies all year round, I especially love making Christmas cookies. What are your favorite Christmas traditions that you have with your family?  I love that our Christmas’ are quiet. We have decided that instead of gifts we would rather store up memories. We save our money to go on trips. Before Christmas my son and I escape for a our yearly snowboarding getaway. It is always one of my favorite highlights of the year. I am lucky that my 17 year old loves spending time with his family. We normally come home on Christmas Eve, while my husband is finishing up his work week. On Christmas Eve, we head out to service at our Church, Northwest Community Church in Phoenix. I am utterly blessed to have a church home where Christ is exalted. How amazing is the gift that we have been given? Christ has come. He came that we might have life more abundant.

Would you like to make white Christmas cookies too? People always ask me about where I get some of my supplies. Here are some links to supplies you can pick up to make them:


Starting a Cookie Business

Starting a Cookie Business

Have you been thinking about starting a cookie business? Do you have cookie creations which started as a hobby and then grew into people asking you to make them for their parties? Your love for making cookies which started as a hobby has now morphed into a cookie business. Or has it? Are you struggling to navigate past being a hobby baker to having a cookie business? Do you feel lost trying to figure out the laws?  Have you even defined if you truly want to own a business? My husband and I are going to help you jump through those hurdles in our blog series: Cookie Business 101. While I graduated with a Degree in Organizational Leadership in Business, I sadly threw much of what I knew out the window when I started my cookie business.  It wasn’t until my husband threatened to call the labor board for paying myself under minimum wage. He straight up said, “you have a hobby, you don’t have a business.” Businesses have to pay at least minimum wage, or they get fined by the labor board.  Take your degree and your knowledge and apply it. If not, I am shutting you down. Those who know our family, know my husband was not kidding.  My first response was “if I price my cookies appropriately, no one will buy them.” My husband’s response, “then you don’t have a business.”

farmhouse kitchen

I walked away aggravated, but I knew he was right. We live in a Pinterest world that often tells you to follow your dreams and be passionate. I quickly learned that passion and dreams are not enough to sustain a business over time. Opening a business, even if it is a home based business, is a serious venture. Are you willing to ask yourself the tough questions? Are you willing to let someone else ask them? Over the next couple of weeks you will get to know my brilliant, sarcastic, attorney husband, who happens to be one lab accident away from becoming a super villain. He is going to share his perspective on business and cookies.  Two years ago, I was ready to open a store front. As my husband and I were looking for property, he asked me some probing questions. Once again, I was aggravated and he was right. This happens often. I realized while my passion and dreams of a store front were great, I was not ready to take that leap after contemplating his questions.

My husband’s name is Dann. He is going to take over now. He has successfully started, run and sold three different companies.  He is now currently the Director of Legal and Compliance for a company in Phoenix. He is a wealth of knowledge. Feel free to ask questions. He loves to help.

Many times in business, one looks to the internet to see what other people in their industry are charging.  This is not uncommon if one opens a local hardware store and surveys Wal-Mart, Home Depot, and other supply shops to determine if their prices are in line with their competitors.  However, the small business owner is often left to bemoan that they cannot truly compete on an equal playing field with these businesses as they do not have the distribution lines to buy in the same bulk nor do they have the pull with distributors to actually negotiate their prices.  However, in the field of “home bakeries” we are left to compete not only with Costco, the local supermarket, the brick and mortar bakeries, but also hobbyists.

farmhouse kitchen

I guess the first question you have to ask yourself is “am I a hobbyist?”  Please note that I will not be addressing competing against “competitors” in this blog, but I will touch on this in the next one.  This blog is devoted to “the hobbyist.”  I have nothing against the “hobbyist,” but it is time to ask you to come out of the closet.  The closet is not a scary place, and many of the “hobbyists” don’t even know they are in the closet.  I pause a moment to laugh at this as the room is dark, the light is off, and you should be claustrophobic at this point; this is why I am snickering.  For most snickering is an insult, but don’t be alarmed as my wife states that I am laugh deficient and this is the best that I can do.

A hobbyist has no business plan, they have not determined the cost of goods, they don’t know who their target customer is, and they don’t even notice the creepy music playing next to the stale cookies at the market selling 12 per box for $.99.  If you have never heard the creepy music as the lights glisten off the plastic cookie casing, you are usually the first casualty in the horror movie.  Don’t be alarmed over ninety percent of the teenagers in the movie are killed, and if your contract does not contain a clause for a multi-picture arc, you most likely are one of the first casualties in the horror film titled “These Cookies will Kill You due to Chemicals as well as Pricing.”  Yes, I agree the name of the picture is not catchy but look how many people have fallen prey to this.

The plastic cookie casing is not your competitor.  However, you are not only letting the creepy plastic shell determine your pricing, but your customer as well.  You have priced yourself below market value not only in terms of the cost of goods, but you have not set a wage for your hourly work.  Your clients often ask you vague questions such as “I am throwing a “insert random theme” party here and I have no idea what type of cookies I want but they have to be “amazing, move around without a visible motor and be no more than the cost of the expire cookies found on the “Day-O Bread Rack.”  You are so determined to please said customer that may never use you again or recommend you, that it has not even occurred to you that you are now envying the wages of workers in third world countries.  You often are tucking not only your kids in bed, but your husband as well.  I would say that you would wake up from this nightmare in a cold sweat and realize it is only a dream, but alas, tomorrow starts a fresh new day losing money and working for less than what McDonalds’ cashiers were making in the 1980s.  I have good news for you my friend, you have a hobby.  There is good news, you have choices.  1) You can start treating this like a hobby and not let this consume your life; just think there is room next to your wooden tennis racket, your lace-up ice skates and the bowling ball in the closet as well, 2) You can focus on how to turn this hobby into a business, or 3) You can wait several years until you hit rock bottom and then join a support group.  For the rest of you who are running a business, in the next post I will address who your competition is and how you can react and adapt.

Cookie Business


Cookie Business 101 Topics to Come:

  • Why Business Plans are important even if you are a small home based business
  • How to define your mission
  • What is a SWOT Analysis and why it matters?
  • How to properly price your products?
  • How to determine if a “opportunity” is one you should go after or are you better to walk away?

Farmhouse Kitchen Recipe Crate

Farmhouse Kitchen Recipe Crate

Have you ever heard of Chip and Joanna Gaines? If you have, chances are you are addicted to Fixer Upper on HGTV. I love watching this talented couple take a house that is in shambles and turn it into someone’s dream home. Joanna is the queen of the farmhouse kitchen. I would give my right arm for her to redesign my kitchen. Well maybe not one of my arms, it would be pretty difficult to roll out cookies without both of them. But one can dream, right?  I have always loved the look of a farmhouse kitchen. Rustic tables, recipe cards from grandma on the counter and vintage dish towels. My son, Jude, often makes jokes that his inheritance of vintage dish towels is awesome. While he might not appreciate it them, his wife might someday.

farmhouse kitchen

Last week while I was day dreaming about my dream farmhouse kitchen and I ran across the cutest picture on Craft-o-Manic’s Instagram feed. It was a DIY Embellished recipe box tutorial. It’s great how a simple Instagram picture can help someone find just what they are looking for.

farmhouse kitchen

I fell instantly in love with Canvas Corp Brands. Thank you so much for the introduction Craft-o-Maniac. On their website they have a whole farmhouse kitchen section.

Farmhouse Kitchen Supplies

farmhouse kitchen

Can I ever just do a DIY craft without making cookies? The answer is probably, no. Plus, I have a firm belief that cookies make everything better.  I love taking every day items and turning them into cookie sets. I couldn’t help but want to say thank you to Camille, from Canvas Corp. She was so kind to reach out to me after I freaked out about how awesome their products are. The printing is beautiful and the quality is impeccable. I was so excited to receive this in the mail.

farmhouse kitchen

If you love to craft, Canvas Corp. Brands has a plethora and I mean plethora of goodies to enjoy.

farmhouse kitchen

Gluten Free S’mores Brownies

It is officially campfire season; the season where families decide that a few nights in the great outdoors is fun, mosquitoes and all.  I, on the other hand,  prefer to “camp” in my backyard.  I am a big fan of the bug free indoors and indoor plumbing, which makes hanging out in my backyard and then retiring to the inside of my home ideal.   However, if you are headed out into the great outdoors, I decided to make your life a little bit easier with this new gluten free s’mores brownie cup recipe. All the goodness of your favorite summer dessert in an easy transportable cup. You’re welcome. It’s time to break out the good ole marshmallows and get roasting. Now here is the other dilemma of camping in the summer, it is hot and chocolate melts. That is why brownies make the perfect middle man for your s’mores. All the goodness of chocolate without the melting mess. Gluten Free S'mores You are going to need a few things for this recipe. The first thing you will need is a great graham cracker crust. A couple of weeks ago I created a recipe for gluten free graham crackers that is perfect for the crust of these gluten free s’mores brownie cups. We love making a large batch of gluten free graham crackers ahead of time and freezing them.

Gluten Free Graham Cracker Crust {Printable Version}


  • 1 cup gluten free graham crackers {approximately 8 to 10  3″ {gf graham cracker recipe}
  • 4 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons organic sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt

Gluten Free S'mores Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  2. Place gluten free graham crackers in a food processor. Pulse until they are crumbs. Be careful not to over do it or it will turn into cookie butter.
  3. Place gluten free graham crackers in a medium bowl and mix with salt, sugar  and melted butter
  4. Line a muffin pan with 12 cupcake liners. Then press in your gluten free graham crackers to fill the bottom of the cup.
  5. Bake the crusts for 5  minutes.
  6. Remove pan and allow for the crust to cool. While the crust is cooling it is time to make the brownies. Turn your oven off for a few minutes. This will allow the temperature to drop. The brownies will bake at 350 degrees.

Gluten Free S'mores

Cup4Cup Gluten Free Brownie Mix


  • 1 Pouch Cup4Cup Gluten Free Brownie Mix {You can buy them online or at Dean and Deluca, Williams Sonoma, Sur La Table}
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • 2 eggs room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons water {if you want to get crazy like us, you can sub in espresso}


  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. In a medium bowl whisk together melted butter, eggs, and espresso.
  3. Add in the gluten free brownie mix. Mix till it just comes together. You don’t want to over mix.
  4. Use an ice cream scoop to place an even amount of the brownie mixture into 12 muffin cups.

Gluten Free S'mores Ovens can vary greatly. I have learned this recently with my new oven purchase. My old oven would have cooked this in 20 minutes and in my new “fancy” oven, it takes almost 30 to 35 minutes. I would suggest checking on the brownie mixture at the 25 to 30 minute mark. If the toothpick comes out with a few crumbs they are ready to add the marshmallows. I used large marshmallows and cut them in half. Then I placed two halves on top of the brownie mixture. Place back in the oven for about 5 minutes. Watch them closely. You do not want your marshmallows to disintegrate. If you have a torch you can also toast them that way as well. Gluten Free S'mores Enjoy. Gluten free s’mores brownies are turning into one of my family’s favorite treats. I like them because they are easy to transport to picnics and parties.

Gluten Free Graham Crackers

Gluten Free Graham Crackers

What is summer with out s’mores? You can’t have a s’more without really good graham crackers and charred marshmallows, right? I will admit, maybe not everyone loves a charred marshmallows like I do but they should. They are just better burnt.  The past couple of weeks I set out to create a recipe for yummy gluten free graham crackers. Who says gluten free graham crackers can’t taste even better than their gluten counterparts? Enjoy these delicious treats all by themselves with a tall glass of milk or utilize a batch in some of your favorite recipes. You can make smore’s, tarts, pie crusts and the list goes on.  Normally I would use unsalted butter in all of my baking, but this time I decided to go a little crazy. Have you ever had Kerrygold butter? While Kerrygold does sell an unsalted version our Costco only carries the regular. Pairing Kerrygold plus Cup4Cup turned out to be a winning combination.

Gluten Free Graham Cracker Recipe {Printable Version}

Yields 32 to 35 gluten free graham crackers

  • 2 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons of Cup4Cup Gluten Free Flour mix
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 cup Kerry Gold Butter {salted}
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 organic sugar
  • 3 tablespoons honey

gluten free graham crackers


  1. Measure out flour, cinnamon, salt and baking soda. Whisk in a bowl for 30 seconds until well combined.
  2. Remove butter from the refrigerator. Cut in to small cubes. This will allow the butter to come to room temp. much quicker. Place butter, sugars, and honey in a bowl. Mix on KA level 2 till combined. This takes approximately 3 minutes. Scrape down the bowl
  3. Add half the flour mixture. Mix on low till just combined. Add the other half of the flour mixture.
  4. Make a mound out of the dough and wrap in plastic wrap for about 30 minutes. Or you can use our tutorial to roll the dough in sheet.
  5. While the dough is firming up, preheat the oven to 350 degrees
  6. Use powdered sugar to roll out your gluten free graham cracker dough.
  7. Use a rectangle cookie cutter, square cookie cutter or cut in shapes that you would like.  I use my favorite fluted square cutters from World Market.
  8. Roll cookies approximately 1/8 inch thick. Take a fork to lightly pierce your crackers.
  9. Depending on how you like your graham crackers cookie for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown.
  10. Store in an airtight container for up to two weeks. You can also freeze your gluten free graham crackers. Place them in a freezer bag tightly sealed.

** Note if using unsalted butter substitute in ½ tsp. salt.

gluten free graham crackers

If you are rolling your dough out immediately, place your baking sheet with the cut squares in the freezer for about ten minutes before putting them in the oven.

gluten free graham crackers

I am a big fan of letting cookie dough rest.  I make my cookie dough at least one day ahead of time and roll it in to sheets that are ready to cut. {Check out my dough rolling tutorial} I place them in the refrigerator for 24 hours before cutting shapes.  One of the best things about these gluten free graham crackers is that they freeze great. I love making a large batch and then pulling them out when we want to make s’mores or a gluten free tart crust. Well you will have to come back next week. I can’t wait to share with you my new favorite recipes for summer picnics. Gluten free brownie s’more cups. It’s like all of the wonderful things in the world colliding at once. I am pretty sure that adding butter to gluten free graham crackers should be illegal it is so good.

gluten free graham crackers

I am thinking these would also make great favor gifts as well.  Tie up some gluten free graham crackers in a cellophane bag with a few marshmallows and chocolate squares.

gluten free graham crackers



Party in a Jar Book Tour

Party in a Jar Online Book Tour

Busy mom’s are constantly trying to come up with great crafting and party ideas for their young kids. I am so excited to share with you about Vanessa Coppola’s new book, Party in a Jar.  For those of you who do not know Vanessa, she is the chief blogger over at See Vanessa Craft.   I absolutely love her tagline:  “it’s my mission in life to spread my love of hot glue guns and glitter to others.”

Party in a Jar Book Tour

Party in a Jar is Vanessa’s labor of love.  What mom does not want to kill two birds with one stone? In the book she features sixteen kiddo friendly craft projects that not only provide entertainment for your mini party goers but the craft jars also function as take home party favors!

Party in a Jar Book Tour

Party in a jar is not only perfect for any hostess,

but it would also make a great hostess gift. The other great bonus is that the projects are easy for any mom to create.

Party in a Jar Book Tour

I have to have it…

You can purchase your own copy of Party in a Jar from Amazon or Gibbs Smith! Or if you want to step up your game, Vanessa is offering signed copies of Party in Jar.  Vanessa will be sending out signed (super cute mason jar) bookplates to stick inside the books by request. To request a bookplate, simply email with the subject line BOOKPLATE. You’ll need to provide proof of purchase (Amazon order screen shot, photo of receipt, etc.) and a shipping address.

Party in a Jar Book Tour

What are you waiting for moms? You know you have a pantry full of mason jars. It is time to put them to use. Your kiddos will thank you for it.

Party in a Jar Book Tour


Celebrate Life: Baking Theme Cookies

Celebrate Life: Baking Theme Cookies

Celebrate Life? Baking theme cookies? How do those two things go together? Weeks ago, Georgeanne, better known as LilaLoa, sent out a top secret email titled, “Project Anita”! We were charged with the mission of choosing someone in our life who inspires us, who we are proud of, and who we love. If we chose to accept this mission, we were asked to create a cookie set that honors them. For weeks, I have been wracking my brain on “who” I would chose.  There were so many possibilities, but I kept coming back to the same “person”. My person is more of a collective but they are heroes, they inspire so many, and I love them dearly.  Who am I talking about? We have become known as the cookie community. I can’t wait to tell you about these women.  They are extraordinary women. But first, I would like to share a little about Anita.

Celebrate Life

For those of you who might not know Anita, she is the chief blogger and baking genius over at Sweet Hope Cookies.  Please take time to visit her page and read about why she started Sweet Hope Cookies. She bakes to honor her brother Randy, who was taken from this world too early due to ALS. The proceeds of her cookies go to raise money for ALS awareness, the fight for a cure and to help support families who have loved ones with ALS.  Last year, I had the honor of making her a set of ALS themed cookies after she won my cookie auction. The cookie auction was to raise money for the Moore Oklahoma tornado victims.  This is why I chose  baking theme cookies. The cookie community comes together many times during the year to help one another and to help others.

Baking Theme cookies

Last year, Shannon, from Artfully Delicious, organized a bunch of cookiers to auction off cookie sets to raise money for the victims in Moore, Oklahoma. This year, Tiffany, from Snickerdoodle Sweets & Events organized cookie auctions to raise money to help a young girl named Bailie. Bailie is in the process of fighting her third round of cancer.  Her one wish is to go to Paris with her family. The cookie community wants to help make that dream a reality. The cookie community rallies together and bakes their hearts out to raises funds to help.  Many times I have been the baker who is auctioning off cookies or making donations but this year I was the recipient of cookie love. I can’t wait to share about what these women did for my family. There are seasons in life. Some times you are the giver and at other times you are the receiver. We truly are a community. Some make cookies as hobby, others blog about their cookies and many of us sell our cookies under the cottage law.

baking theme cookies

I love aprons. I have many hanging in my pantry, but some how I never wear it during the day.  Many of my friends wake up super early or go to bed super late making cookies. While decorated cookies may seem expensive to you, they are not. The amount of time and labor that goes in to creating these tasty creations is quite lengthy. Yet, this does not stop the cookie community from offering up their labors of love to help others. It does not matter the size of the gift but the attitude in which the gift is given. Many of these women give sacrificially to help others. Just remember little gifts are just as wonderful as large gifts.

This year, many things have changed for my family. It’s like the perfect storm hit all at once.  My little company, The Baked Equation was born to raise money for our charity, Micah 6:8 Sudan. We were working towards building a farm in Torit, Sudan to help teach the villagers a skill. There is 90% unemployment in Southern Sudan. We were starting a farm where we could teach them how to grow foods in their seasons and sell to the surrounding areas. Over 80% of what is in the Sudan is imported in from other countries, thus making goods very expensive. In November, civil war broke out again in the Sudan. By January, most relief organizations and missionaries had been evacuated out. Permina, our farm manager is currently living in Kenya. Evey thing on the farm had come to an end abruptly. At the same time, the mortgage industry has slowed dramatically in Arizona. My husband and I had been blessed with a wonderful company that he ran for 8 years. But that season has come to a close. At the end of March, we closed our doors. I would no longer have a “day” job working for him. But I do have my small cookie business. All of sudden orders began to pour in. The orders all had familiar names. Yes, it was the baking community. They will not admit to colluding together to help our family. But they did. I remember crying as I baked batches and batches of my salted butterscotch cookies. I was so thankful that this would help pay the bills while my husband looked for a new job.  But it isn’t even about the money. The gifts that they raised for my family were priceless but it was more about knowing that people cared about us. People really care.

baking theme cookies

Ahhh, the ingredients. We talk about them often in our groups. How many of us have grabbed a pan out of the oven without our oven mitts? How many of us have had those pesky eggs rolling off the counters? But every time you rollout your dough, you do it with love. In our group’s so many times I witness a passion for baking. Not only do bakers help raise money, they graciously share their knowledge. There are so many questions when it comes to baking. Why on earth is my icing not drying today, like it does every other day. Why on earth is my dough spreading? How do you make your icing so soft? What on earth do I do, my client is coming to pick up cookies in 3 hours and one of them just broke? Is Amazon Prime worth it?  Many will rush to help answer your urgent questions. These things matter. Sharing your knowledge is a priceless gift. One that often goes unnoticed. I watch these women patiently answer all sorts of questions from new bakers. The cookie community is a generous bunch.

baking theme cookies

You can’t have baking theme cookies with out a discussion about piping bags, which tips are the best, icing consistency and by goodness what color mint are you talking about. If you ever want to have a barn raising conversation with a baker talk about mixing colors. If you ever want to bring my assistant to tears, tell her she has 19 colors to mix today.  The next thing I love about the cookie community is we come together to laugh. We laugh about ourselves, we let off steam, and we have a good time in each others company.  The cookie community can take a long day and make it seem a little brighter. Trust me there are LONG days baking. There are days when nothing goes right and one of your sisters will step in with an encouraging word or a story that makes you laugh. Laughter is medicine to a weary soul.

Baking theme cookies

Thank you girls. You know who you are. You are the cookie community. Your giving spirit matters. It inspires many.  Keep up all your hard work. I hope you enjoyed the baking theme cookies that were inspired by YOU!  Now head over to see all the other Cookie Artist’s who created sets to honor someone they love. Enjoy

Celebrate Life
1. Lorraine’s Cookies
2. Cristin’s Cookies
3. Sugar Rush Custom Cookies
4. Sweet Shop Natalie
5. LilaLoa
6. Whisked Away Cookies
7. Sweet Ree’s Bake Shoppe
8. The Cookie Architect
9. The Sweet Adventures of Sugarbelle
10. Jill FCS
11. Kookie Kreations by Kim
12. Sugar Nosh Treats
13. The Baked Equation
14. Chris’s Creative Confections
15. Sweet Ambs
16. Tami Rena’s Cookies
17. Cindy’s Cozy Kitchen
18. Suz Daily
19. TLC – Trinnie Loves Cookies
20. Yankee Girl Yummies
21. Laura’s Cookies