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So as many of you know, I am not considered a full-time cookie decorator and what I mean by that is that cookie decorating is not my full-time job I am actually an engineer and I work for an IT company. Now I love my job and I love my cookies and that is one of the reasons why I do both but I also became a mom within the last six months and while I continue to do both the cookies and my engineering job, I have begin to realize that things are not as easy as they were.

There are a lot of things that I took for granted before I had my son That I wish I could do differently now or maybe not do differently but more like appreciate them more fully. So I've developed a list of things people don't realize get impacted when you have a kid.

I also just wanna point out before I tell you about this list that I love my son more than anything on this planet. I would not trade him for any of these things. But if I could get back some of these things, I would so appreciate it. All your moms with littles... you probably understand my pain.

  • Getting more than six hours of uninterrupted sleep

  • Being able to eat a meal in peace

  • Going to the bathroom, more specifically pooping without rushing or interruption

  • Being able to get up in the morning and do my hair and make up

  • A relatively clean house

  • Washing and putting it away instead of letting it sit for a week on the couch

  • A clean kitchen ( and before any of you go after me, my baking area is always clean but it takes a lot more work to clean it and it gets messy a lot faster )

  • Being able to make a quick trip to the store

  • Watching or binge watching what I want on tv without interruption

  • Going to the bathroom in a public bathroom and I mean me going to the bathroom without having to drag my son in there and have nowhere to put him

  • My body

  • Taking a bath or a long, uninterrupted shower

  • Date night

  • Hanging out with my friends

Now mentally, and physically, I was ready to have a child. I just did not comprehend, or understand the things that you have to sacrifice in order to raise a child. Dont get me wrong, I can still do these things they just take a lot longer and require so much more effort and time management then I had before and you guys know that I am relatively organized.

A quick trip into the store for five things used to take me 15 minutes. Now it takes me at least 30. Because I have to get him strapped into his car seat, drive to the store, It takes 5 minutes to get Grayson out of the car, find a cart, put him in it, go into the store, do my shopping, come back out, then 5 to 10 minutes to put him back in the car.

I guess I just wanted to rant a little bit about life because as a mom when your sole focus has shifted from you and what you like doing and the routines that you have in your life all get changed because now you have a human you are responsible, for it's hard. It can be very lonely and you miss yourself and that's completely OK.

It's OK to miss how things were. It's OK to be frustrated especially when you're transitioning into having a child for the first time or bringing a new child into the house. Yes, I do have a partner and yes, he does help. Regardless, it's still a lot on you as a mother and I just want to let mommas out there know that I am with you.

And when you're feeling upset and down or frustrated with the fact you can't do one of the above things the way you used to, look at your kid and when they smile think, you're lucky you're so damn cute.

Everybody has their own way of decorating cookies. But one of the most commonly asked questions in all of my cookie decorating classes is should I outline my cookies?

Honestly, it really depends on you and how confident you are in your consistencies. There are some people who do not outline the cookies such as Borderlands. however I do.

Pros to Outlining

You don't have to worry about icing falling off your cookie

  • This is one of the major problems if you don't outline or don't have a thick enough outline and I suffer from it constantly when I'm doing big orders.

You get cleaner, sharper lines especially when it comes to scalloped or cookies requiring more precision

  • You CAN flood a scalloped cookie without outlines but you may end up with a wavy edge instead of a clearly defined scalloped one.

Your icing settles flatly without having to wiggle and jiggle it with a scribe or the piping bag

As you get better at outlining and flooding cookies, you don't even notice the outlines are there unless you're having a staring contest with the edge of your cookie

Cons to Outlining

It can be time consuming

  • If you have a 100 cookie or even a 50 cookie order, it can be very time consuming going through and outlining each and every one of them and your hand will start to cramp after a while.

  • I take this as an opportunity to practice cookie decorating with my left hand lol

You have to mix 2 different consistencies

  • For outlining you need piping consistency (soft peaks)

  • For flooding you need flood consistency (honey)

  • Some people hate using 2 and opt for a 20 sec consistency for everything. I have done this in the past

Pros to No Outlines

It's faster

  • You do not have to outline anything though as you add your details you may choose to outline those items

You only need 1 consistency

  • If you hate mixing icing then this is good for you

If you like using cute scribe tools, then stock up because no outlines means the icing needs help wiggling and jiggling to stay flat

  • ...This can also be a con if you're spending $$ on cute scribes...

Cons to No Outlines

Your lines are not always as crisp

  • This is especially with odd shaped cookies or cookies requiring lots of angles. If it's a relatively common shape, this isn't a problem

It can be messy

  • This is especially true if you have icing that falls off cookies. You'll be juggling icing more cookies with trying to control the spillover.

  • A tip here is wait for the entire thing to dry then take a microplane to the side of the drippy edge.

  • You can also just not flood so close to the edge and scooch it over with a scribe. SweetAmbs does this

Lumpy Looking Cookies

  • Your cookies may not look at flat and smooth if you didn't wiggle or jiggle the icing enough

You may have to make piping icing anyway

  • Depending on your details you may need piping icing for writing so you may need to mix 2 consistencies either way

Honestly when it comes down to it, with lots of practice, you can't even tell if there is or isn't an outline so in the grand scheme of things it doesn't matter which way you go. However my recommendation is to try it both ways and see which one feels better to you. You’re not wrong either way.

As always I hope this helps!


Hello Cookie Lovers!

As many of you may or may not know, I am not a full time cookier. I actually do have a day job.

I have a Master's Degree in Cybersecurity and Information Assurance and work in IT. I very much love this technical side of myself and today (January 28th, 2021) is Data Privacy Day! Therefore I want to share with you 5 ways to keep your information and the information of your customers secure.

Setting Secure passwords

  • Secure passwords are a simple and easy way to keep your information secure but are only effective if you have strong ones.

  • My recommendation for passwords are:

8-10 characters

No common words or phrases

A mix of capital and lowercase letters, numbers and symbols

Choose different passwords for different applications

  • Something fun that I like to do with my passwords is to think of a common phrase or song that's special to me and choose bits an pieces of it to make into a password

For example, lets take "Somewhere over the Rainbow"

(the Judy Garland version from wizard of oz)

In this case I would choose the password:


SomeWhere over the Rainbow Judy Garland

There are 24 letters in "somewhere over the rainbow"

The ! is just the special character I chose

Update your devices regularly

  • You may not know but your phone, computer, iPad, and any devices that you use have codes in the background to make them work.

  • Sometimes these codes can leave holes and gaps that can allow hackers to access parts of your devices. Even if your device has an anti-virus or detection software, attackers may still be able to get into your device

  • Therefore the manufacturers of these devices create updates to seal up these holes with "patches" to keep them secure however the only way for your device to use these patches is for you to consistently update your device so it has the latest codes.

  • You can set these to auto-update for you or you can manually do it just remember to do it fairly often.

  • Apple for example just went through an update to 14.3 but there were problems with the code and now everyone's being urged to update to 14.4.

  • If you're unsure how to update your device (any device), a good place to start is to search for "updates" in the settings and you should see an "system updates" or "check for updates" option

Be wary of suspicious emails

A lot of hackers use email as a way of hacking into your devices. This can be done several ways

Clicking on links from people you're not familiar with

  • You should never open an email that you're unfamiliar with or click on links that don't look quite right.

  • Often times these emails will contain a single link and nothing else.

  • These links will often allow the hacker to install programs or viruses on your device to either watch what you're typing or to allow them access to your device

People pretending to be a friend or offer a service by asking you for personal information

  • Sometimes people will hack the accounts of your friends, family, coworkers, or even potential employers and email you pretending to be them.

  • They usually will ask you for some personal information or possibly for you to give them your information so they can send you a check to cash and send them back some of the money

  • This is called phishing and is the most common way hackers get into systems

  • Never send personal emails to people with your private information even your socials or credit card info. send it in chunks and make sure to secure it by using encryption. This can often times be a lock or key button on your email.

  • Encryption uses math to scramble a message so others cannot read it

Emails that look real but are actually fake

  • Every once in a while you may receive an email that looks like it came from your bank or service you use saying you need to update your password, your bill pay, or some other task. It will ask you to log into the website and when you do, it will tell you your email and password are wrong and it will make you retry it

  • These emails are fake and most likely, a hacker doesn't even know if you have an account at that bank, they just send these emails to giant lists of people hoping someone will do what they say.

  • The email they use, the website, the logos, everything looks real and you think it's legit however hackers can make all of these things look very convincing.

  • When you try your password, it's actually capturing what you typed so they can use that information to actually access your accounts on the real websites.

  • You should never receive emails asking you to log in for these types of things. If you're ever concerned for example I receive a lot of emails saying xx person has been added to my bill pay, go to your internet, go to the website of your bank, log in and check from there. Never click the links in the email. You can then report it to the actual bank or click the spam button

Check your Privacy Settings

  • This is very important especially on mobile devices that use a lot of apps. Make sure that you frequently check your privacy settings on the different apps and website you use. Often time your location setting is turned on when it should be turned off. Your CandyCrush game should not be using your location for anything.

  • Sometimes during updates some of the turned off settings will turn back on by default. Make sure to double check them after updating to make sure your information is still secure.

  • If you need help with any of this, the Stay Safe Online Website has a great webpage to help you update these

Don't overshare on Social Media

  • Lastly, we need to talk about social media. As an online business and a person living in a technology friendly world, we tend to share most facets of our lives.

  • Make sure to not overshare because hackers can gain personal details from your social media posts.

Examples of oversharing

  • Showing your address when you received "happy mail" from your fav cookie shop

  • Letting us know you'll be out of town all week

People can use this info to break into your home while you're out of town

And they know your address because they saw it in your happy mail post above

Instead choose to say you're "unavailable" or "busy" for that week

  • Oversharing health information

It's okay to ask for prayers and well wishes but if you're constantly posting about medical problems, insurance companies can use this information against you

The same goes for personal and relationship issues

  • Showing customer names and info

It's one thing to tag a person in a positive post about an order, event, or activity however make sure not to put their full name or other personal info for everyone to see. For example when I talk about how I plan my orders, I always block out the customer names in the photos to protect their privacy

So there you go cookie lovers! These are my top 5 ways of being #privacyaware Now go forth and start taking charge of your private information!

With love (and cookies)


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