Friday, September 26, 2014

"Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness" ~ Thomas Jefferson

"We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."
Thomas Jefferson

What do those words mean to you?  I want you to read the quote again and really ponder what "my man", Thomas Jefferson was trying to convey to a young nation of people that desperately needed to come together as a cohesive unit to achieve success as an independent nation.  

Many scholars have associated this phrase as having a basis in Autarchism which means, "self rule".  Thomas Jefferson was a self proclaimed Epicurean, "this is a philosophical doctrine that teaches the pursuit of happiness and proposes autarchy, which translates as self-rule, self-sufficiency or freedom." 

I had heard this phrase all my life, especially being a Virginian and later becoming obsessed with a Jerffersonian lifestyle. I'm sure we all have.  I never really "got it" until recently.  

In my opinion, Mr. Jefferson was not referring to America as a collective unit, but that being an Individual, created by something Greater than yourself, a Higher Power, you are solely responsible for three things: Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.  

You were blessed by your Creator with your life.  Yours.  Not mine.  Not ours.  You.   

It's your responsibility to live your life to the best of your abilities.  It can either be a great life or you can choose to screw it up.  It's your choice.  

(See where I'm going with this?)

Okay, so now that we have established that this is your life to live....yours and yours alone, that produces freedom.  Freedom is giving you the liberty to make your own choices as to the life you want to live.

Each and every day, we are presented crossroads where a choice has to be made.  Do I take a left or right in order to get to my destination?  Do I buy this donut or a beautifully ripe peach?  Do I approach someone with anger or love?


Choices affect our liberty...they affect our ability to live the life that we want.  By we, I mean you, me...individually.  Each one of us has a destiny to create our liberty.

True liberty begins with one.  Let us remember than you can never be more than one without yourself.  Two happy responsible individuals create even more freedom.  Simple Math People.

And The Pursuit of Happiness
Hopefully by now, you have grasped the concepts that this is your life and it's your sole responsibility to create your freedom, your liberty.

Personal Responsibility.

Beautiful things happen when you reach this point.  Once you are a free individual (mentally speaking) you can then create your happiness.


If you stop whining about your crappy life and accept that you are in charge of your own happiness then you can share that amazing realization with other's, not by forcing it down their throats, but by not choosing to allow others to try and destroy the happiness that you have created for your own life.


Happiness is not a right.  It's not a gift.  It's a choice. You have to choose happiness and when you do, you chose self love.  You will choose to love others.  You choose life, over death, and liberty over a mental jail cell.

I get it.  Do you?

I also choose to not allow people that don't "get it" into my inner sanctum.  Why, because it's my choice, my liberty, my happiness and I have the right to protect it.

Jerry Springer is not Jeffersonian.

Not at all.

This is Home Girl.  Go Find Your Own Happiness.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Ten Things Your Baker Wished You Knew

Oh hey. Yeah, it's been a while.  Life got in the way and then I lost my password and it turned into this whole issue that I didn't even have the energy to deal with.

Then I lost my camera and in a fit of rage, not only did I find my camera, but I found my password.

So, here I am.  "Hey Ya'll"

Today's Topic: Ten Things Your Baker Wished You Knew or as I like to call it, "How to correctly order Cakes and Cookies".

1.  Never, ever contact a Specialty Baker the day before your event for anything because your Pinterest idea failed and now your only option is a dessert from Walmart.  The answer is no.  It should be no.  This is a skill that has taken hours to learn and develop an artistic style.  Respect that.  We're not trying to be rude, but we just can't pull rabbits out of hats.

2.  Now that you have given at least early notice (from 2 weeks on and that is IF we are available), let's plan your goodies.  Do NOT send us a photo of someone else's work and say you want this.  If that is the case, then go to THAT person.  We are all artists.  We can take the exact same theme and each person will do it differently.  That is what we LOVE about creating special sugar art projects. When your order says to pick up at 2pm, DO THAT.  Cookies such as these take at least 3 days to create and if you show up 4 hours early, I might not be finished.  Don't show up late without contacting the baker.  They may leave and go on with their personal life.  We have them, you know.

3.  Give your decorator the artistic license to make you a wonderful and very special event treat.  Try to provide a copy of the invitation or a piece of the party ware so the colors can be matched.  That really helps more so than saying, "Red and Blue".  That tells me nothing.

4.  Understand we are not mind readers.  Discuss your vision for your party.  Never try to micromanage a creative person.  Bakers/Decorators/Sugar Artists do this because we love it.  Ease up.  Don't be THAT person.  Please, for the love of God.

5.  Learn something about the Artist's work.  If it speaks to your heart, then go with that, if not then find another one.  Everyone has a match.  Don't be offended if a baker does not want to work with you.  It's not you, promise.  It's just that you're not our match.

6.  Don't ask us to create a Trademarked Character any longer, because we can't.  It's the law.  Go explain that to your child that "no, she can have a Blue Snowflake Cake, but unless it's a plastic toy, there will not be an Olaf on her party cake".  Sorry, we don't like it either, but those movie people are pretty protective over their shiz.

7.  Never ask your baker how they make their item or try to get the recipe for it.  Really?  So, rude.

8. Once a product leaves the Designer, it becomes the responsibility of the event holder to make sure a product be delivered correctly, if not please let us do that for you.  Most charge a nominally fair fee to make sure your cake is tabled properly, especially when dealing with tiered cakes.  Do that.
9.  Why are specialty bakery products so expensive?  You are paying for edible art, made with QUALITY ingredients, you are paying for "I did NOT get these at Walmart", you're getting cool person points...those things cost money.

10.  And while we're talking about expense...shipping cookies is crazy expensive, not only for the postage, but the packaging, too.  Then we hand the box over to the postman, say our cookie prayer, and do not breath until the box is hopefully received...and still there may be a broken cookie.  Please, don't throw a fit and demand a refund.  It happens.

Proverbial, that's the way the cookie crumbles.

This is Home Girl and I'm glad I found my password.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

"Stained Glass" Cookies

I received quite a few requests to please explain the technique I used to achieve a stained glass effect on a cookie, so to be nice I decided that I would do that for you all.

It is almost Christmas after all.

Remember though, it is NOT my intention to ever become a tutorial writer.  I don't mind sharing here and there, but there are already awesome cookie artists out there that cover pretty much anything you could ever want.

I learned cookie artistry by researching techniques and mastering them.   I don't mean to sound crass, but seriously, do your own research.  Play around with different techniques and never feel limited to only cookie icing be it glaze or Royal.

Be adventurous and use BOTH.

Anyway, last Easter I made these cookies and I was thrilled with the way they came out.  I had seen the technique used by Corriecakes  and I knew I had to figure out how it was done.

So I did.

I was hoping that I would get to make them this holiday season and my prayers were answered.

This technique is super easy and works up quickly.  First off, roll, cut, and bake your shapes.

Go wild and use whatever shape your heart desires.

Make some marshmallow fondant.  Flavor it with something crazy like bubble gum.  You can use commercial fondant, but just know that crap is nasty.  Just stop being lazy and learn how to make your own.

Roll and cut the fondant with the same cutters you used for your cookies. Make a few extras just in case.  Let the shapes sit for about 15 minutes to become firm.

Lightly paint the cookie surface with corn syrup and then adhere the fondant to the top of the cookie.

Use a detail consistency (Thick Shampoo) Royal Icing to outline your designs making sure that you connect all the areas so that your stain will not run into other areas.

Make your "stain" in little wells of an artists palette or a styrofoam egg carton like me, using 1 Tablespoon Corn Syrup, 1 teaspoon water (or Cake Batter Vodka), and desired coloring.

Mix it, mix it good.

It should be thick enough to stay on a paint brush, but will immediately run when touched on a surface. Using your paint brush, lightly fill sections with desired colors.

These cookies will dry with a shiny, hard, candied effect.

Bada Bing

Badda Boom.  

You know you live in the South when you see names like Miss Martha, Earlene, and Skip....

This is Home Girl.

Now go make your own cookies!!!