Sunday, December 20, 2009

Business and Marketing Writing

Yesterday I finished my online "Business and Marketing Writing" class. This was a class that work paid for me to take, and I got to do it on work time since it is an investment in me for our little news publication that I work on.

It was a great class! I really enjoyed it and feel like I have a lot to take away from it. The class went through the whole process of business and marketing writing . . . from finding out what your company image is, writing for your audience, writing structure, grammar, editing, work relationships for the writer, and dealing with the ethics within marketing . . . and a whole lot more. I wish I had another writing class to take now. I'm sad it's over.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

When You Don't Own A Shovel

Since I do not own a snow shovel (don't ask me how I survived all last winter because I'm really not sure) . . . I figured the best way to clear part of my driveway, and to spend a nice lazy Sunday morning . . . would be to make a snowman of course.

Check it out - she's even got a nose and a mouth :-)

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Cream Puff Follow Up

While making the whip cream for my cream puffs yesterday . . . I was suddenly quite panicked as I realized that I had never in my life made whip cream before - and that I may very well make a complete fool of myself by trying to make something for a contest that I had never made before (and was something I was kind of making up). I had this mental picture of my cream puffs with melted pink cream running out of them.

I was totally crunched on time . . . but with Nathan's help I was able to create my very own peppermint whip cream which I filled the cream puffs with. Then we topped them with bits of crushed peppermints and powdered sugar. They were beautiful! The pictures here don't do them justice. I just didn't have a chance to take good pictures since I was rushing out the door (Nathan, bless his heart, even had to help me put my shoes on). All in all . . . I made 45 peppermint cream puffs and 60 rum truffles for our Christmas taste testing party.

Being someone that never really grew up baking much . . . I was very proud of my handiwork and that fact that I just jumped in there and tried something relatively unusual . . .and difficult maybe? And I was flattered by the fact that I had the only dessert at the contest that was all eaten up! Both desserts too! I was told that the cream puffs tasted like Heaven. Unfortunately, I didn't win. Though my gut tells me that I was pretty close (but my gut was also full of peppermint whip cream). All in all . . . it was an enjoyable experience, and I've got myself a great new recipe!

Cream puffs look much better when they're not under plastic.

Some of my rum truffles. It's a good thing I'm blocking the fact that I had a huge mess in my kitchen when I left!

Nathan read a Christmas story to the kids at the party.

So, after all that, what do you think? Should I be a pastry chef in my next life?

Sunday, December 6, 2009


The weather says we're getting snow tonight! I'm really hoping to wake up to a world of white. There's nothing better! Too bad we don't get snow days at work :-)

My Julie & Julia Moment

I'm going to go all Julie & Julia on you for a moment. Hope that's ok.

I am going to attempt to make cream puffs. Well just the "puff" part today. The recipe is from my mom. I remember her making cream puffs a couple of times for my piano recitals when I was younger. The puffs were always better than the piano part I'm sure.

This time I am going to be adding my own little twist. As these are for a taste testing contest/staff Christmas party tomorrow . . . I am going to make these bite size, and fill them with a peppermint cream. I wish I had little candy canes or mint leaves to stick in them. A good presentation always seems to help people ignore the fact that something doesn't taste great.

Hopefully more to come on this!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

The Extent of Christmas so Far

We make our own snow here. We haven't gotten any real stuff yet (maybe within the next few days!) But this spot sure looks like we're in the middle of winter!

This is the extent of my Christmas decorating so far: 4 pine cones I found by my house.

Today I made some rum truffles (my all time favorite holiday treat). It's a messy job.

Ta Da! The finished product! They are for the taste testing contest at our staff Christmas party on Monday. Hopefully no one will be offended that there's rum in them. Knowing Hume, someone will probably say something about it and give me a hard time. But I already ok-ed it with HR.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Safe. For Now.

When the economy turned and Christian Camping took a hit we definitely started going through changes here. Budgets were cut, vacated positions were not filled, Thanksgiving and Christmas were canceled (well . . . the party and our gifts were), staff retreat was cut, we had to actually start marketing ourselves. . . and the list could go on.

We'd been told from the beginning by our Director, that he would do everything in his power to keep our jobs. That was reassuring.

Over the last little while though . . . we've seen people fired/let go because "we are dissolving your position." It never seemed clear to me if they were letting people go because of the economy and the position needed to be taken away, or because it was about the person, their work ethic, their personality . . . Who knows what. They just seemed like iffy situations to me.

But today it was clear. 8 people were told yesterday that they were being let go. Their positions will be no more. So at least we can know for sure now . . . that we've come to that point. We all received a letter in our mail boxes today explaining that this is indeed because of the economy . . . and that if we don't start seeing camper numbers and contracts come in . . . we may not be done laying people off. There are 6 spots from people who have left recently which will not be filled, plus the 8 from yesterday and with a few others from earlier we are approaching 20 people we've lost in the last couple months. Gotta love change. It's non-stop here.

So I'm safe, for today. I guess working in fundraising in a down economy can be good job security. But we'll see.

Lookin' Good

Someone said we looked like spies . . .

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


I'm appalled at myself. 1 blog for the month of November? I really need to work on that huh? It's not like my life has been boring or anything this past month. It's been anything but that.

I drove 1,000+ miles in just over a week. Nathan and I went to socal two weekends in a row. It was a good time seeing friends and family . . . but it's still tiring. It's nice to be home now and know that I don't really have any plans to leave the mountain till Christmas.

Nathan and I have been watching Lost and getting caught up for season 6! I'm really looking forward to it. Today we finished season 4. With Nathan's broken collar bone . . . it's a good excuse to be lazy and watch a lot of tv.

I started a "Business Marketing and Writing" class a few weeks ago. Work paid for it. They're investing in me with this class since I do a lot of the writing and editing for our news publication. It's a great class so far and I'm learning lots.

It's getting cold here now. I think last night it dropped to 16 degrees. No snow yet . . . but hopefully this weekend! I'm really looking forward to it.

I miss Thailand. The transition back was hard. I still need to put my thank you letter together.

That's all for now.