Friday, March 28, 2014

New Cookie Cutter Designs from Oui, Sugar! and, an afternoon with The Beekman Boys!

A few friends and I are off to the Southern Ideal Home Show tomorrow to
show The Fabulous Beekman Boys some Triad area love! I still can't
believe my bad luck at not being able to attend both of their appearances
tomorrow... However, I'm stuck taking the mandatory 4-hour update class
for my real estate license until 12:30! Guess who will have her eyeballs
glued to the clock the whole class? If you guessed me... You're right!
I ordered extra books so that my friends would each have one for Josh
and Brent to sign and I grabbed some fun swag at the Dream-job to give
them too! Calm down... I am not bringing the Beekman Boys underwear!
But I am thinking about bringing one of my cookies because a certain
little birdie told us that Brent's grandmother will be at the show...
And, it's her birthday too! By the way... What do you think of
these sweet little Domed Cake Stand Cookie Cutters? Don't they
remind you a lot of my cake stand collection? You know, like
this beauty I refer to as Ruffles by Martha Stewart for Macy*s...
And this one! Also Martha's, and a fixture here on my island...
Oh, and what about this Beehive cake stand I picked up at West Elm?
I am crazy for Domed Cake Stands! And, I'm crazy about decorated sugar
cookies too... But guess what? I couldn't find any cookie cutters shaped
like Domed Cake Stands anywhere... So last summer, while I was forced to
stay off my feet due to an Achilles tear, I decided to do a little doodling!
Then, I set out to have my designs made into prototypes. Once
they arrived, it was time to put them to work in my kitchen!
Finally, after my cutters were perfected, I applied for a Copyright to protect
my sweet designs and ordered lots of sets to share with all of you, through my
Oui, Sugar! on-line marketplace! I'm still hoping to produce these cutter
designs in copper... However, until I'm able to and to help keep them more
affordable, I'm launching them in tin first! These cutters are larger than the
average cookie cutter and all of them are made by an American craftsman in
the USA. Each cutter has a rolled edge, which makes them very sturdy and
easy on your hands. I'm delighted with the quality and I know you will be too!
So please let me introduce you to my Domed Cake Stand Cutter Collection! Of
course, you know they have names... They are: Ruffles, Beehive, Tall and Diner!
What do you think? I think the fact that I
get to see the Beekman Boys tomorrow...
And, maybe have the opportunity to offer their beloved grandmother
this birthday cookie I decorated especially for her using my newest
cookie cutter design calls for a Oui, Sugar! give-Away... Don't you?!
All you have to do to be eligible to win a complete set of my four new
Domed Cake Stand Cookie Cutters is to leave a comment below!
Winner will receive both sets, Set One... Which features Ruffles and Tall!
And, Set Two... Featuring Beehive and Diner!
Winner will be chosen at random and
announced here on Wednesday - Good Luck!


My darling husband LOVED Josh and Brent's presentation
about the Ten Life Lessons they learned from their Garden!
And I enjoyed, more than I can say, meeting them in person during their
book signing. And yes!! That is Brent and Josh's grandmother holding the
birthday cookie I created especially for her! Brent and Josh invited me to
have a photo taken with them; however, I explained that having one with
them and their grandmother would mean so much more to me. The
fact that she held up my cookie... Well, that just made it even sweeter!
This was quite a moment for me. One I'll never forget and always cherish!
And, guess what? Josh and Brent even liked the Hanes swag!

Now hurry and enter because I want you to have these...

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Persistence Pays Off for the Birds!

Three years ago, I purchased this birdhouse from a sweet woman having
a sale out of the barn on her property. Of all the wonderful antiques she
offered, this birdhouse was the thing I wanted most! Purple and white, so I
immediately called it my K-State Victorian Birdhouse. It was a must-have!
After she took my money, the woman said to me, If you like birdhouses, you
really should see the one in my front yard. So I followed her around to the
driveway and, there it was! Oh, I asked... But it was not for sale! However, the
woman did tell me that the craftsman who made this birdhouse for her also
made a second one just like it. So I immediately asked, Where is it, and how
do we make it mine? The answer was that the match to this birdhouse was at
her son Todd's and she wasn't sure if he would ever part with it. However...
As fate would have it, Todd turned out to be Todd Leinbach, an auctioneer
we've been following around for years! In fact, we attend just about every
auction his company has in our area! As soon as I made the connection, the
pestering began! Every auction we attended, I'd make a special point to
remind Todd I was still interested in the birdhouse his mom told me he
had in storage. And then, I waited. And, waited... And, I waited some more!
I nearly gave up! In fact, I bought several other birdhouses trying
to substitute for the bird house I really wanted. The one Todd had!
And then, two weeks ago, I received an e-mail from Leinbach auctions
inviting us to attend their next auction. I'd never replied to their e-mails
before but this time, I did! I wrote: Dear Todd, still very interested in that
birdhouse you have, so anytime you're ready to sell please let me know!
And... Todd wrote back! He said, $300 and the birdhouse is yours! Do tell...
Doesn't it look pretty here in our front yard? I think it was worth the wait!
Of course, after sitting in Todd's garage under a tarp for
all these years the copper roof needed a bit of polish!
Nothing a little Twinkle couldn't handle though!
Of course, after I finished, the man I love said he preferred
the old patina more. What about you, which look do you prefer?
I love that I can see my new birdhouse from our master bedroom! I've
already seen bluebirds sitting on their gorgeous new wrap-around porch!
And, look! Mother Nature is already at work on the new patina!
Birds and new Birdhouses for Spring... I think they're a really Good Thing!

Friday, March 21, 2014

Indian Motorcycle Salutes Our Hometown Heroes!

You know, just when I think life can't get any funnier, it does... Because, I cannot tell you how many times we passed the Indian Motorcycle Factory in Gilroy while our family lived in Monterey, California - And, if you had tapped me on the shoulder back then while a certain very young man and his dad stood admiring the beautiful motorcycles in the window and told me that Indian Motorcycle would one day ask me to partner with them to help promote their 2-Wheel Salute for a Hometown Hero contest, I would have thought you were nuts! But, that's exactly what happened a few days ago when Calley, a sweet representative from Indian Motorcycle in Minnesota, sent an e-mail asking me to do just that!
                                                                          Photo Credit: Indian Motorcycle

Working for a 100+ year old American company myself, I especially appreciate Indian's rich American heritage... Did you know that Indian is America's first motorcycle with a storied history of supporting military personnel and placing its bikes into military service? It's true! In fact, as the United States entered WWI, Indian sold most of its 1917 and 1918 lines to the US government. Additionally, Indian's Chiefs, Scouts and Junior Scouts were all used for various purposes by the United States Army in WWII and extensively by overseas Commonwealth military forces under the Lend/Lease program. In my research of Indian's military efforts, I learned that France ordered 5,000 Indians with sidecars as it prepared to enter WWII too!

So you see, Indian didn't just make that famous motorcycle Arnold rode in the Terminator movies!
                                              Photo Credit: Adam Lau, AP

Today, Indian Motorcycle wants to salute three Hometown Heroes with VIP loans of an Indian Chief for a whole year! They're looking for stories of those men and women who are passionate about helping others in their communities – and, who are also passionate about motorcycles. Also, if your nomination is selected, you'll win $1,000 in cash just for making the nomination!

So what are you waiting for? Nominate your Hometown Hero today by clicking here.

In addition to this exciting contest, Indian continues to support our military through an incentive that provides all current military personnel, retired and military veterans with $1,000 cash back on the purchase of a new, 2014 Indian Motorcycle!

I hope you'll join me in spreading the news of this iconic American company and their efforts to recognize our military and other Hometown Heroes!

By the way... When Calley asked me whom I would like to nominate, I couldn't give her an answer... You see, when I think of Hometown Heroes,  I think of fallen Ranger, Benjamin Dillon to whom our Ranger dedicated his Ranger training. And, I think about, Ronald Kubik and Jason Santora, also United States Airborne Rangers on mission with our son in Afghanistan in 2010 when they were killed in action. These heroes, along with every soldier that makes it home to their family but is no longer physically able to ride an Indian would be my choice.

This being said, I cannot forget the many other Hometown Heroes deserving of my recognition for their support of our Ranger and his battle-brothers... Friends like Michelle, whose son and his kindergarten class sent these pictures. Or Kimberly and Marietta, whose daughters sold a combined 268 donated boxes of Girl Scout cookies, which I shipped to Afghanistan over five deployments. And, there's Jackie, the Marine-mom at my office who instinctively knew when to check on me while contact with Ranger was nonexistent. I also don't know where I'd be without my boss, Shelley and her mother, Mary Pat or my coworker, Nick and his lovely wife Jane who all worked faithfully to keep Ranger’s name on their Parish prayer lists. Last, but not least, there's Kemper, Ranger's high school buddy that shipped care packages loaded with supplements to help keep our high-speed Rangers alert and feeling their best during missions that often stretched from hours into days.

Of course, there's my family... My dear mother and especially my hero-father, a retired Army Captain and Vietnam War veteran who is so proud of his grandson he could bust! Also, my darling husband and our son Will, Ranger's brother. Plus, there's you... My cherished readers; so many of you have reached out and hopefully, you know that I now count you among my closest and dearest friends. You are all my heroes and I am so grateful for your support!

While my journey as Army Mom is winding down, I promise to pay all of the kindnesses paid to me forward by continuing to support all of the Army Moms still waiting for that call that says, "Mom, I'm home."

To bid on the Jacket Now, Click Here
The legal stuff:
For my small part in their tremendous efforts to recognize others, Indian Motorcycle offered to send me their Classic Jacket, which I plan to auction and donate the proceeds to Wounded Warrior. As soon as I have the details worked out I'll announce it!

In the meantime, I would love to hear about your Hometown Hero so please leave me a comment telling me why they deserve your nomination!


Monday, March 17, 2014

St. Patrick's Day Cookies and... a big Oui, Sugar! Announcement!

Wishing you Love, Luck, skies full of Rainbows and pots filled with Gold!
But before we talk about cookies, I'm delighted to tell you that...
That's right! My dear friend David and I called up our favorite movers, packed up
all of our Sweet and Good Things and relocated our on-line stores to etsy!
I believe etsy's artisan community is the perfect platform from which to
offer my cookie decorating supplies, as well as the vintage treasures I
am able to source for you at antique shops and the estate sales I attend!
And, just as with any Grand Opening, David and I have added lots of new and fun
products to our stores too! I think David has outdone himself putting together a
gorgeous collection of antique cake stands as well as vintage Fireking. He's
even offering collectible Bonne and Martha by Mail cookie cutter sets too!
You might want to hurry over to Heritage Home by David at etsy because I
cannot imagine that a collection of goodies like that will last very long at all!
Speaking of goodies... It's St. Patrick's Day, which is another sweet reason to
break out David's Heirloom sugar cookie recipe and my Royal Icing!
Seeing the Rainbow of new Hanes ComfortSoft
t-shirts at the Dream-job last week inspired me!
Inspired me to create sweet rainbows of my own... Shamrock Rainbows, that is!
By the way, speaking of great colors...
That kitchen cart I ordered from Ikea finally arrived and it is just as
handy as I thought it might be! I pulled it right into my baking pantry,
loaded it up with everything I needed and rolled it right into the kitchen!
Aside from shamrock rainbows, moving trucks and logo cookies...
I also created Snowmen!
Why snowman cookies, you ask? Because a few weeks ago, Hani of Haniela's
introduced me to Michelle and her amazing blog, MakeMeCakeMe where I
spotted the cutest cure for the same old St. Patrick's Day cookies I usually make!
Besides, someone needs to point Mother Nature in the right direction...
And, turning snowman cookies into Leprechaun Girls seems as good
a way as any to remind her that Spring is long overdue and... Expected!
If you haven't discovered Michelle's blog yet, I urge you to drop everything
and check it out here. Seriously! I am always so inspired by how many creative
and unique designs Michelle is able to pull out of one shape! So, let's break out
my Oui, Sugar! Decorating kit and turn these snowmen into Leppie-Girls!
Because, whilst the boys slept off last night's
fun, these Leprechaun girls were up early...
Following shamrock rainbows to collect all the gold at the end of each one!
Working quickly, they stuffed handfuls of gold into every pocket...
And, even under their pretty hats!
Finally, after every piece of gold was collected, they all
dashed off to shop the one-day sale at Neiman's - Ha!
Now that St. Patrick's Day is here, it is time to begin thinking about
our Easter and Spring baking... And, if you want to create cookies like I
do, I know you'll find the following products from my etsy shop helpful:
I meant to tell you earlier that what I'm busy baking up to share with
you here is usually posted to the Oui, Sugar! Facebook page first...
So I hope you'll pop over and, Like It soon!
I also hope that you will...
And, always know just how much your support of my little venture means to me!