Cookies of the Soul – Chocolate Meringues and the Odd Bunch of Villains

Kelly was working at Hollyland today. It was the biggest theme park in the country let alone the world. People came from miles around to ride the rides and take in the atmosphere. Kelly had wanted to work here since she was five and watched her first Princess Dewdrop movie. After all those years here she was costuming the characters of Hollyland.

Today was a very special day. She had been here for only about two months and her manager was sending her to the backstage of Movieland. That means that she gets to be in the middle of all the costuming action. It was the trailer that was used to costume the stars of the park. She was nervous to see what the actors who played the villains were like, but was very excited about meeting the girls who played the princesses. How good they must have been to be chosen out of all those girls.

When she entered the backstage trailer it was dressed like a mini living room. There were couches and chairs all set up for the character’s comfort. She begun by setting up her costumes for the day and waited. That’s when they came in. Evil and conceited looks on their faces with language like sailors, and valley girl accents….dressed in princess costumes!

The shock on Kelly’s face could not be disguised. Orders were shouted for their princess pink shoes, pointy fingers pointed at other princesses for stealing lipstick and patronizing gossip was filling the room. Howe could girls so pretty have the meanest looking faces? “What are you staring at?” Asked Princess Dewdrop with a deep “I’ve been smoking” voice. Kelly almost laughed but instead pulled her head away in fear of the wrath of her majesty. If these were the princesses than what were the villains like? Her stomach trembled at the thought and she found herself watching the door.

The door opened softly and in floated find faces with dark make-up. Queen McEvil put a container of freshly baked chocolate meringues on the table and immediately offered as many as she would like to Kelly who accepted. Kelly ate when she was confused and confused she was. As the evil queens sat in a circle and started knitting, they discussed the recent episode of Fuzzie (Queen Poisin’s blue point Persian of course) who just had kittens. Fancy Feast was her favorite and Queen Poisin was looking for homes for all the kittens before she had to go on her mission. Evil corsets holding kind hearts and pink dresses holding gossipy brats.

Suddenly a fight broke out in front of the mirrors. Too many pink dresses in front of one mirror spells disaster as Kelly quickly found out. Kelly was now consuming chocolate meringues like popcorn as she watched the show in horror and amazement. Princess Dewdrop has mentioned she was a size four, which implied that Princess Angelwing was a size five, which was absolutely ridiculous to Princess Angelwing. At this point Angelwing socked her one in the chin and all hell broke loose. As the other princesses cheered on the fight, Witch Borden began to calm them down and separate them insisting that life was too short to be fighting.

At this point Kelly remembered something her mother had always told her, “You can’t judge a book by its cover.” Well apparently you couldn’t judge a storybook by its cover either. It was all twisted around. Her childhood ideals had been dashed and there was nothing to do but to watch. She learned that day that sometimes the guy in black is good and sometimes the white is most definitely evil.

“Chocolate Meringues”*

Ingredients: ¼ cup of sugar, ¼ cup of Splenda, 1/8 tsp of salt, 2/3 cup of confectioners’ sugar, 4 large egg whites, and 2 tbs of unsweetened cocoa powder.

1) Pre-heat the oven to 300 degrees. Line two cookies with parchment paper.

2) Mix the sugar, Splenda, cocoa, and confectioners’ sugar in a bowl. Beat the egg whites and salt in a bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed until soft beaks form. With the mixer at high speed, gradually add half the sugar mixture, beating until stiff, glossy peaks form. Use a rubber spatula to fold in the remaining sugar mixture.

3) Fit a freezer bag with a star tip. Fill the bag, twist the opening tightly closed and squeeze out small stars, spacing 1 inch apart on the prepared cookie sheets.

4) Bake for about 40 minutes, the meringue should be stiff to the touch. Turn off the oven. Leave the cookies in the oven for 30 minutes. Using the parchment paper as handles, lift the meringues onto a rack. Peel off the paper and let cool.

5) Enjoy the light fluffiness of this non-confusing cookie.

* Base of recipe from Cookies and then I molded it from there.

Selling Girl Scout Cookies

A few weekends ago, I had the good fortune of spending 3 hours with my eight year old daughter at the local mall. This trip was different because our mission was to sell Girl Scout cookies.

I have sold many things in my life but never Girl Scout cookies. What happens before we arrive is where the story gets interesting. I could not help but notice her preparation for the day. She got up early, did a quick inventory of her supplies and then proceeded to pack the car. In many ways, it was remarkably similar to my early days as a wide-eyed rookie sales rep. I was going to light the world on fire! At least, I thought so.

During breakfast, she discusses her strategy for selling 40 boxes of cookies. WOW! At this point, it hits me like a sledgehammer. My eight year is laying out a plan for the day which includes her strategy, tactics and goal. I could not help but wonder where all this was coming from as I had not seen her so focused.

We proceed to the mall to set up our table directly in the center of the mall. I find myself a bit uncomfortable standing directly in the path of would-be shoppers. I feel exposed as I am not sure what to expect. I have been in sales for over 15 years and I am actually nervous about selling Girl Scout cookies. Ouch! I notice that I am tapping my right foot on the leg of table as I feel my anxiety level rising. I experienced this same feeling on a consistent basis my first year in sales. It was how I felt when I was tasked to make a sales call on that “buyer” who had a reputation for berating sales reps in public. I am sure many of you can relate to that feeling of helplessness.

In this case, I was lucky because my sales manager (my daughter) was there to provide a much needed pep talk. She came over to me, gave me a hug and told me to relax and just do what she does. A sense of relief comes over me and I settle into a nice rhythm. We anxiously wait for shoppers (prospects) to walk by so that we can ask them to buy a box of cookies. I am struck by how rude so many people are as some do their best to avoid making eye contact. Again, not much different from how many prospects treat sales people. My daughter keeps plugging away and just keeps asking people if they are interested in supporting the Girl Scouts. She keeps a smile on her face and stays at it to reach her goal. At certain points, I feel dejected until I look over at her and see that she is still smiling waiting for the next person to walk by.

The day was a wake-up call of sorts for me; it was a reminder of what it often feels like to sell a product, concept, idea and/or your brand. For many of us, we cut our teeth by making cold calls which was not that much different from selling Girl Scout cookies in terms of our approach. Instead of standing in the mall, we strategically placed ourselves in the hallway, outside an office or anywhere else so that we could see when “that buyer” was on their way and headed in our direction. We just happened to be in that particular area so we could introduce ourselves. It is funny what sales people will do to make contact with a prospect. In this case, we proceed to discuss our solution, its benefits and see if they would be interested in meeting with us in their office. I am not so sure it was the best way to facilitate a conversation, but it certainly seemed to work more often than not.

I suspect that there are plenty of brave souls out there right now waiting to make one more cold call. The uneasy feeling, unsure of what to say and when to say it is quite an experience. It certainly tests your psyche. Like my daughter, just keep smiling, keep asking and you too may reach your goals!

Looking For Cute Girl Tattoos is Getting Pretty Hard Now

I am going to make a quick guess and say that you’ve been looking for cute girl tattoos for quite some time. If you are anything like most women, you are getting bombarded by sites that plaster generic junk and cookie cutter artwork on their pages. Most of you will not even pull up “one” site that has original, quality drawn tattoo art. I know why this little problem happens, so I’m going to provide you with the easy way to find cute girl tattoos and amazing artwork for them.

What’s the point of getting tattooed if you just pick some random generic piece? There’s no fun in that and most people will end up regretting getting tattooed with a cookie cutter tattoo. There’s not much that can be done by that point, though, because the artwork is already firmly etched on your skin. Like I said before, though, it’s hard to find good, quality drawn cute girl tattoos. Do you know why?

Well, I will tell you right now. It’s because the overwhelming majority of us are too reliant on search engines when looking for tattoo sites. Long story short, this does not work any more and you will see nothing but the generic artwork we were just talking about. It’s getting ridiculous. There are so many copy cat sites out there now and they know that search engines pull up the sites that have lots and lots of artwork. So, instead of posting cute girl tattoos, they just grab as much cookie cutter artwork as possible, just to pull up high in search engines.

It’s a real shame, because this is all most people get to see, since they don’t stray away from the search engine they like to use. That’s the bad news. The good news is that I know of an easy solution to this, so you can find the quality sites out there that take a lot of pride in having cute girl tattoos and amazing, original artwork. The way you find those sites is simple: You use forums. Simply put, this is going to be your best way of finding those hidden sites around the net that post great artwork.

Here’s how you do it. First of all, stick with larger forums. This is where so many past topics on tattoo related subjects will be. They are in one central location and you can even click on the forum’s search function to pull all of them up at once. Yo want to browse those topics because many of them will be filled with info and knowledge of the best sites for cute girl tattoos, original artwork and quality drawn tattoo designs. It’s all there, right in front of you.

None of you should have to settle for cute girl tattoos that are just cookie cutter designs, because it feels so much better when you pick something you 100% like.