To Bake or To Blog {that is the question}

Most days I have to ask myself if I will take time to blog OR if I will watch TV/go to bed early/clean the kitchen... you know fun distracting stuff. But last week I had a different bug keeping me from blogging: COOKIES!

I jumped on the opportunity to participate in a local Maker's Market which involved prepping and baking about 150 cookies last week. Now, I think we all know I have a real job, so this meant 2-3 hours of extra work every night AFTER putting my squirt to bed. In case you were wondering what it looks like to prep for a market of this variety here it goes:

1. Frantically email your designer so you have a logo ready to print stickers.

2. Find someone to PRINT stickers! 

3. Order cellophane baggies for the cookies.

4. COMMENCE the baking!

Last Monday night I prepped a double batch of the "New York Times BEST Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe." Then Tuesday I prepped a quadruple batch of Joy the Baker's "Vanilla Bean Confetti Cookie." Both types of dough need extended refrigeration so it worked out! Wednesday night I didn't do any baking or prep work. Thursday I began baking. I got through the chocolate chip cookies with ease. Then realized I should probably bake more (good idea cause they were the second to sell out after the donuts... yeah, there were donuts), so I prepped a THIRD recipe of cookies to bake. Friday was when the real fun started. I began bagging and sealing the cookies + baked ALL OF THE CONFETTI COOKIES. I basically spent the day putting a tray of cookies in the oven, taking a tray out, putting another tray in, sealing one cooled tray's worth of cookies and so on... times 5 trays of cookies!

LATE Friday night the process became a party! I had neighbors come over and shell a costco package of pistachio's while I baked a double batch of tahini butter cream oreos. I fear I would have thrown in the towel if it weren't for dear friends sitting and chatting with me while I worked... oh and they brought wine. :)

Saturday morning was the final countdown to the big show! I planned on baking fresh pistachio donuts for the market that morning (just about the only goodie that wouldn't hold well past a day or so). And that was when my brain stopped working. I not only curdled the eggs with hot butter THREE times, I LEFT OUT THE SUGAR. It was one hurdle after another, that I blame wholeheartedly on lack of sleep. But gosh darn it, I finished them! 34 donuts in the end! BOOM!

I packed up the goods and went to set up, both nervous AND excited. I have NEVER in my life EVER sold something to strangers at a market. Sure I've done retail sales in college and baked for friends... but to SELL my baked goods was a whole new ball game. BUT I DID IT.

The first items to go were the donuts... followed quickly by the chocolate chip cookies, and finally the tahini buttercream oreos. After 4 hours, I left having made almost $300 and only 10 cookies left! What a RUSH. And not a sugar rush, cause I didn't let myself eat any of the goods throughout the week or the morning of. 

What's even more exciting, is this is gonna be a thing. I'm gonna start selling my cookies! On the regular! How cool is THAT?! Have you ever taken the plunge into the creative economy? It's terrifying and AWESOME all at once. So, look out for me next month at the Mid City Maker's Market in Baton Rouge; and if you can't wait till then, shoot me a message about ordering some of my treats!!

Konmari + Donuts {The first timer's guide to tidying}

I’m late to the game on the "The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up" but I don’t care. I bought the book. I DEVOURED it. I have begun the process. AND I FEEL AMAZING ABOUT IT.

The only SLIGHT thing was the time I almost threw away the title to my car, but as Marie Kondo would say… just get another!

Y’all. If you have purged or cleaned or organized your house ever with little to no lasting result, get this book. Read this book. Embrace this book.

If you have watched any morning TV shows at ALL in the past three years you have surely seen a segment on this book. If not, we probably wouldn’t get along cause you probably don’t think Kathie Lee and Hoda are hilarious. But whatevs, we can figure out our friendship later… The snippet from most of these segments that sticks with people is asking yourself if your belongings “spark joy.” This probably sounds crazy to you/completely weird UNTIL you read the book and start following the konmari method then subsequently find yourself thanking random belongings in your house out loud, or not?! Whatever, I’m not weird.

Anyway, here are my big takeaways from the process so far:

1.     You have to focus on YOUR things. Not your husbands or your kids or your roommates. DO YOU FIRST. You don’t know how other people relate to their stuff, and you can’t be tossing someone else’s clothes and books willy nilly.

2.     My bigger question ISN’T about something sparking joy, but rather the concept of has it served its purpose. Marie Kondo talks about the clothes that you hold on to because it was something you loved but never wear or worse yet something you HATE but you spent too much money on. Did that aforementioned garment teach you about your current style? Then thank it, remove it, and move along! It has served its purpose. And to the shirt that you hate… did it teach you what styles you DON’T like? It has served its purpose!

3.     PAPER: This is where having served purpose is a much better question. Did that baby shower invitation for someone you haven’t seen in three years serve its purpose? Yes. Yes, it did. You are FREE to toss it. I tossed SO MUCH PAPER AND I FEEL SO ALIVE!!!

4.     Finally, you cannot being this process or expect it to be easy/good/refreshing UNTIL you have finished the book AND are emotionally ready to do it.

5.     Donuts make the process WAY better. If you don’t believe me… follow this recipe then try to convince me otherwise. Marie might be upset that I added a mini donut pan to my kitchen BEFORE konmari'ing it, but she probably has also never tasted a brown buttered champagne strawberry donut. So there.