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Find Your Tribe

As I sit here refining my goals for 2017 I can’t help but look back over last year. 2016 was a big year for me, not only in business, but even more so personally. It was a year of change. As some of you may know, I struggled with postpartum depression and anxiety after having Miss Scarlett in 2014. The first year was unbelievably rough and I knew I had to make some changes.

One of those changes was to remove myself from people and situations that brought negativity into my life. In this day and age it isn’t so easy. I had enough negativity swirling around in my head, that I didn’t need anyone adding more mental weight to drag me down. Some of this purging was as easy as hitting “unfriend” or “unfollow” on Facebook. It was amazing how much better I felt by cutting out the social media drama. I also stopped watching the news. Have you ever noticed that there are very few positive stories? The media feeds off drama and this momma was so over it. This also meant distancing myself from certain people, some that were close to me. We all know who these people are in our life. They are the ones that leave you feeling drained or negative yourself. They siphon from your cup rather than fill it.

With the external weight lifted I found a renewed sense of motivation. As the saying goes, “As one door closes another opens”.  And boy did it ever! Early spring I decided to focus my energy into seeing what I could do with this little cookie thing. As things started picking up I quickly realized I needed some guidence and joined an online business coaching group ran by Jennifer Allwood, who just so happens to be a Kansas City girl too. It was like someone just put the paddles on me and shocked me back to life. I was instantly surrounded with 100+ creative women business owners. Women who think the same way as I do, who are trying to juggle the business and family balance just like me, that even though their businesses are thriving, have the same insecurities as I do! The best thing, they are so welcoming. It doesn’t matter if you are starting from square one in business or you’ve had a brick and mortar for 15 years. Everyone helps each other. Everyone WANTS to see the other succeed! There is no drama, no sabotage, no mean girls, and no negativity, just women helping other women along the path to success. The ladies in this group are AMAZING! Jennifer is AMAZING! I have learned SO much in such a small amount in time. The Inner Circle group is seriously the best investment I have made in my business.

Last week was the icing on the cake, or should I say sprinkle on the cookie? Jennifer asked me to make cookies for her and The Chic Site by Rachel Hollis’ Meet Up and Book Signing. My reaction, uh heck YES! (Followed by a few air punches and the worst Carlton you have ever seen.) If that wasn’t awesome enough, I also got to meet Jennifer, Rachel, my Kansas City (and one Illinois) Inner Circle friends face to face for the first time. It was such an amazing feeling to walk into a room of 70 women, many who have never met before, and feel like you are amongst lifelong best friends. When I walked out those doors to head home that night my Tribe was extended even further, my heart fuller, and my dreams bigger!


Inner Circle Ladies: Niki McDowell , Melissa Rieke, Jennifer Allowed, Nicole Moore, Angie BauerAnna Bannister


Moral of my story, choose your Tribe wisely and love them beyond measure. Happiness is contagious! Surround yourself with uplifting and encouraging people. Don’t have a Tribe? You do now! Welcome to my Sweet Squad, friend! If you need a little encouragement don’t hesitate to shoot me a message.

*Interested in joining the Inner Circle Group you can find it here. Tell Jen I sent you.

Photo credit: Melissa Rieke Photography




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Fight off Fear by saying “YES!”

Have you ever had an idea and then immediately thought, “Oh, I can’t do that” or “Maybe someday when…(followed by any number of excuses)?  You know the big ones; I don’t have time, I’m busy with the kids, I don’t have the money. Yeah, me too. I’m pretty sure I’ve used every excuse in the book at one time or another. But let’s be honest with each other here, we can do that, right? We’re all friends here afterall and friends tell each other the truth, even when it’s hard.

Here’s the truth. All of those excuses are just a cover for FEAR.

Yep, that big 4 letter “F” word. FEAR.

Fear of failure, Fear of not being good enough, Fear of putting yourself out there, Fear of being judged, Fear of “what if”. Let me just tell you right now. If you tried, you did NOT fail! I don’t care who you are – YOU ARE good enough! By putting yourself out there you have already succeed because you have made the first step to grow! If you are being judged just remember, the only reason people talk behind your back is because you’re already ahead of them. Break through that FEAR and just act.

I know what you’re thinking, yeah, yeah, easier said than done. Well, let me tell you, you’re right. It can be hard, but like anything else you have to start somewhere and as you work at it, it will get easier. Just try this and see what happens. Take on a life of YES! Commit yourself to saying YES to healthy opportunities that come your way. A funny thing happens when we just say YES instead of overthinking. Instead of giving fear time to creep in your mind shifts into “get it done “mode.


I committed to this mindset earlier this year and I have gone onto do things I never thought I would. One being writing my first ebook, The Not So Basic Sugar Cookie. My excuses were: I’m not a writer. I don’t know how to make a professional looking ebook. I’m not the best cookier. What if I go through all of the work and no one buys it? As I began feeling the doubt creep in you know what I did? I made the commitment by telling someone. Actually, I knew I needed a bigger accountability group so I, gulp, announced it on my Facebook page to solidify my commitment. I knew that by putting it out there my followers would hold me accountable. And they did! Funny thing happened. Just as the doubt and procrastination would creep back in someone would ask me when the ebook would be done. It was just the kick in the butt I needed. THANK YOU!


I also had to change my mindset. You know what? Maybe I’m not the best writer, but at least I tried and that’s more than most. Maybe my ebook isn’t Martha Stewart caliber, but I am proud of how it turned out. Honestly, it exceeded my expectations! Am I the best cookier? No, and I’m ok with that. We all have to start somewhere. And that last, scary FEAR? What if no one buys it? Well, they have! I may not have made a ton of money on it yet, but it holds so much value to me. It’s value is in the reminder that I broke through the Fear and and self doubt. It’s a reminder that I can accomplish more than even I can imagine and so can you! Keep breaking through the fear and the best is yet to come!

If you are interested in purchasing my ebook you can find it here. Thank you for your support in helping me fight through my own fears.


5 Must Have Items To UP Your Cookie Game

I’m constantly looking for easier and more efficient ways to make my sugar cookies. When I find something that works I want to shout it from the rooftops! So here goes nothin’.

Visual learner? To see the video version of this blog post click https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fsweetnsaucyevents%2Fvideos%2Fvb.155097461222039%2F1068716116526831%2F%3Ftype%3D3&show_text=0&width=560” target=”_blank”>here.


1. Good quality parchment paper

Not the thin junk. Good thick parchment paper. Trust me on this one! I tried buying a pre-cut variety off of Amazon and was very disappointed. I will keep trying to find an alternate, but for now I’m sticking with my tried and true Reynolds Parchment Paper.

I sandwich my dough between two layers of parchment when rolling out my dough. This helps with keeping your rolling pin clean, your dough from sticking, and prevents the need for using more flour and drying out your dough. Once you have your dough rolled out slide your “sandwhich” onto a cookie sheet. Layer your “sandwiches” and chill in the fridge. Once your dough is chilled peel off the top layer and use it to line a cookie sheet for your cut cookies. You can use the same sheets of parchment to bake the cookies. I even use them underneath my baked and cooled cookies when decorating.


2. Dowel Rods

Yep, you heard me right. Regular ole dowel rods. You know, the ones from the wood craft aisle of your favorite craft supply store, ahem Hobby Lobby. I personally prefer the 3/8″ thick dowel rods because I like a slightly thicker sugar cookie. How in the heck do I use dowel rods when making sugar cookies? Well my friends, brace yourself. I’m about to solve the age old problem of cookies with irregular thicknesses.

Simply lay out a piece of parchment cut to fit inside you cookie sheet. Then place your ball of dough roughly in the middle and form it into a log shape. Place a dowel wrapped in Glad Press’n Seal wrap (see #3 for further explanation) on each side of the “log” of dough. Create your “sandwich” by covering with another cut to size piece of parchment and roll out the dough using the dowel rods as a guide. See photo below. When you use the dowels the thickness will stay the thickness of the dowels. Genius right?!

3. Glad Press’n Seal

Please tell me you already have this miracle in your kitchen! If you don’t, you are seriously missing out. I love this stuff!!! It is great in cookie and royal icing making.


As mentioned above, I wrap my dowel rods with Press’n Seal because the dowel rods that I buy are just craft dowels are not made specifically for food use. To keep the dough from touching the dowels I wrap them! What makes this even better is I can use the same dowels over and over because they don’t get dirty. Just unwrap, toss the Press’n Seal, and re-wrap when you need them again. WINNING!

I also use the Press’n Seal on the bowls I use to mix up my royal icing. I lightly press the wrap onto the surface of the icing to prevent a crust from forming and then seal it around the lip of the bowl. I prefer to use plastic bowls to mix in and normal plastic wrap doesn’t stick. The Press’n Seal works like a charm. (No, this isn’t sponsored, even though it sounds like it. I just LOVE this stuff!)


4. Food writers or food coloring markers

These markers are great! They come in an assortment of colors and tips. I recommend starting out with a yellow and a black marker to start. The yellow is great for sketching your design straight onto your bare baked cookie. When writing on an iced cookie be sure your icing is completely dry otherwise you may break through your icing crust coat. The black is great for writing on your iced cookie especially when using dark colored icing as a background. The writers dry quickly and do not bleed into your icing.

5. Toothpicks, Doll needle, or Scriber Needle Tool

I started off using toothpicks so don’t think you need to run out and get anything else. With that said, when using either a doll needle (found at any fabric or craft store) or a scriber needle tool you can easily wipe the tip clean and wash after each use. I also use them to unclog my icing tips should they dry up.

needle tools



Toothpicks: Pro: inexpensive, disposable, and you probably already have them at home. Cons: Do not wipe completely clean,  the more colors you use the more toothpicks you will use, can sometimes be a little hard to see when working on intricate designs.

Doll Needle: Pros: Wipes clean, can wash and reuse, sharp tip allows for intricate design work, long needle provides better cookie visibility. Cons: Hard to hold for long periods of time.

Scriber Tool: Pros: Same as the doll needle as it wipes clean, can wash and reuse, very sharp tip allows for intricate design work, long handle and needle provides the best cookie visibility, stronger needle tip than the doll tool, the handle makes it easier to hold with less hand fatigue. Cons: I haven’t found them at any of my local stores. I bought mine from Amazon.

I hope you found this post helpful. I’m always on the search for new tips and tricks and will post them here as I find them so be sure to subscribe. If you like live videos follow me on Facebook here. If you know of any great tips please share them in the comments below.