LADY-BUGGED

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I have a confession. You know those cute little black-spotted friends that you used to catch in the schoolyard and try to raise as pets by keeping them in jars filled with grass clippings and poked with holes? You know–ladybugs? Well I just have to lay this out there before I share these photos: ladybugs lady-bug me. No, they don’t just bug me–I have a legitimate fear of ladybugs. A fear that often results in tears if said ladybug is within close proximity to me (an embarrassing, but true, fact).

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But I have another confession. Despite the fact that these cookies are ladybug themed, these are probably some of my favourite cookies I have ever done. They are far to cute to induce any sense of fear and are the perfect way to celebrate a first birthday. Regardless of whether the real thing lady-bugs you or not.

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CHOCOLATE MINT SANDWICH COOKIES

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Ever have those days that are so jammed-packed busy that you can hardly catch a breath? You know–the ones that turn into those kinds of weeks. And then months. And then as soon as you know it, the summer is pretty well half over and you’re looking back on the month of July with your jaw on the floor? No? Only me then.

Today I finally had a chance to do something fun. For once I didn’t have a to-do list a mile long or a fridge full of cookie dough screaming for my attention. So I filled my day with me time. And by me time I mean that I baked for me. Not for me to eat (although you can be sure that I will take full advantage of that opportunity), but for me to actually enjoy. For me to experiment. For me to try something new. The kind of baking that me loves.

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The endless possibilities for me baking can be overwhelming. There are pinterest boards, hardcover baking books, and a recipe box full of accumulated recipes that are dying to be attempted, so it can sometimes be overwhelming to choose. I usually spend more time trying to pick a recipe than actually baking. But these cookies were a no-brainer for today, especially since I’ve been eying them ever since I got my Butter Baked Goods book last Christmas. They are made of mint buttercream sandwiched between two crunchy-yet-chewy chocolate cookies. Their reputation speaks for itself, as they are ridiculously delicious. Trust me (I’ve already eaten two).

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I’m off to find more me activities to do. Starting with me eating some more of these.

A LESSON IN QUILTING (WITH COOKIES)

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Quilting is something I’ve dabbled in. I’ve realized it takes a lot of patience. I’ve also realized that patience is something I do not possess.

But quilting with cookies? That is something I can get on board with. These cookies weren’t hard to do. In fact, the hardest part was figuring out how to arrange them into a decent-looking little quilt to photograph. It was actually really hard. And looking at it now, I cringe because it isn’t very balanced and a legititmate-real-life-pro-quilter-extrordinare would probably ream me out for repeating patterns too close to each other or having too much of one colour in one section. But it’s cookies, so who really cares. This little cookie quilt will probably get ripped apart much quicker than it took to put it together anyways. At least in my house it would.

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I love when people ask me to make really personal cookies that reflect their personalities. I also love when people ask me to make cookies that involve fun little patterns and colours. But let’s be honest, I just love when people ask me to make cookies. Period. Any cookies.

Have a great weekend, friends!

MID-SUMMER HAPPENINGS

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This has been a crazy summer! I have been knee-deep in baking orders for all kinds of occasions–bachelorette parties, birthdays, baby and bridal showers, anniversaries, and “just for fun” celebrations. The experience has been unbelievable, as I’ve baked over 1220 sugar cookies and 330 cupcakes within the past three months. These photos just brush the surface of the treats I’ve been cooking up around here!

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I hope you’re all enjoying your summer! I’m going to do my best with keeping things updated around here. In the meantime, be sure to check out my Facebook page: www.facebook.com/albertapearl

FASHION-FORWARD COOKIES

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Do you remember when Gwen Stefani first came out with her Love. Angel. Music. Baby. album? It was quirky and odd, but I will be the first to admit that I was so hooked. I remember the sixth grade version of myself being glued to the television as the Alice-In-Wonderland-esque music videos played on the weekly countdown. My best friend even got the album for her birthday and I remember her lending it to me to listen to on my CD walkman. Those were the days.

I think the reason I was so obsessed with that album was because it was so different from anything else that was popular in the music business at the time. Gwen Stefani was bold, fun, and fresh. She has evolved since the release of that album, but she has never stopped being bold and exciting. She established a clothing line called L.A.M.B that has done incredibly well on the fashion scene. It is characterized by vivid, rocker-meets-classic patterns and stark, yet vibrant, colours.

In other words: the line would make a playful and incredibly fun inspiration for a set of 30th birthday cookies.

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I was asked to make thirty 30th birthday cookies inspired by Gwen Stefani’s L.A.M.B clothing line, as the recipient was a huge fan of Gwen Stefani. I greeted the challenge with so much excitement because of how fun the patterns were. I decided to base the cookie designs off three iconic prints of the line–bold stripes, a repetitive black and white pattern, and a grey and orange flowy leopard print.

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I finished the cookies by donning a few with gold “30”s. These cookies were such a fun and inspiring challenge. It’s always such a treat to receive full creative freedom when it comes to cookie baking. Cookie decorating is just as much a creative outlet as clothing design, so to be able to celebrate the two was such an exciting thing to do.

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May you all have a bold, bright, and Love. Angel. Music. Baby. kind of week!