letter to 16 year old self

Words of Wisdom: Year 40

To keep up with the family tradition of stating birthday “Words of Wisdom”… I looked back to a “letter” I started about a year ago. It’s from a project called “Dear Me” and the idea is to write a letter to your 16 year old self and give yourself some good advice. On year 40 I have made a few additional bulletpoints…

Pie in the Sky Summer 19996: On the train with my besties headed from Sienna to Florence. Life is Sweet!

“Pie in the Sky”, Summer 1996: On the train with my besties headed from Siena to Florence, Italy… Life is Sweet!

Dear 16 Year Old Me,

• Enjoy a cookie or a small sweet every day since you love them so much. Go to the gym, walk at a good pace wherever you can and try not to think so much about body imperfections. You will look back one day and seriously wonder why you obsessed over your weight so much in your 20’s when you could have been out enjoying those young, toned arms.

• It’s good to be thoughtful, considerate  and “deep”, just don’t over think everything. It gets in the way of being creative and positive. And it is exhausting.

• When life hands you lemons, bake a lemon sugar cookie. One day it will become the base of your business (I know, sounds crazy). If life hands you lemons after you turn 21, make a fresh juice whiskey sour (with the good stuff).

• When something horrible and/ or unexplainable happens take a moment each day while you are going through it and think; “What is this here to teach me?”. You will be amazed how looking at the bigger picture can really ground you. Also the “deep breath and let it go” trick is very good. So are balloons. (Thanks to Oprah and Pinterest for this info.) (Note: You will be amazed and enchanted by Pinterest but it is a “time suck” so be aware )

• Study the above photo. Does that look like someone who is over thinking things, or worrying about getting older?! (You were aging then too!) Get on the “train”, look out the window, smile big… be open, excited and hopeful and, most importantly, enjoy the ride.

Life is sweet! Don’t waste a minute!


Your 40 Year old Self

Happy Friday everyone! Have a wonderful weekend! xo



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Baa Baa Black Sheep: A Cookie and A Tribute

Sweet Dani B Custom Sheep Cookie Layout


I’ve always considered myself a bit of a “black sheep“. I was an outgoing, artsy, friendly kid who grew into a quirky, artsy, somewhat “different” dressing teenager. In high school I was bullied (badly) by a group of tough, mean girls who apparently did not like my periwinkle, uneven hem, puff skirt as much as I did (I got a lunch milk carton thrown at my head the day I wore that skirt).

Strangely enough in college, I found myself in a similar “black sheep” role… this time because I wasn’t quirky enough… I was labeled “too Jersey” and my wearing of everyday makeup did not go over well either. (Who would have ever guessed R.I.S.D. students were against wearing makeup?)

NJ Tee Shirt

Jersey pride!

What a difference age and perspective makes. Like most people who are “black sheep”, the qualities that made me quirky and different then, make me the unique person I am today. It’s not bad to be different, in fact, its kind of fun!

Sweet Dani B custom Christmas cookie tree on the Martha Show

Our sheep cookies were selected along with snowmen, snowflakes, Christmas mice and tree cookies to decorate this cookie tree which was presented on the Martha Show. I loved the addition of the copper cutters as ornaments.

In 2005, the marshmallow wooly sheep cookie was the first cookie I ever decorated on air with Martha. It was one of Tamara and my favorite cookies and she pitched it to Martha’s producers at the time. I don’t remember which of us came up with the mini marshmallow lamb “wool” but it was a huge hit both for cuteness and deliciousness.

Sweet Dani B decorative sheep cookies for valentines day

Speaking of deliciousness, how about M&M sheep "wool"?

I have since designed my own version of the sheep cookie cutter since I always pictured the shape to be a bit more cartoony and puffier. This cookie has become a bit of a mascot for Sweet Dani B and this “wooly” sheep is a fun and fabulous cookie to decorate all year round- especially for Valentine’s Day.

Sweet Dani B decorative cookie sheep cookie red

I "heart" Ewe! (especially in red and periwinkle!)

My Mom recently sent me an article about a book titled “Dear Me, Letters to my 16 Year Old Self“. I found it absolutely fascinating. I’m still working on my full letter but I have it started…

Dear Me, (and any other “black sheep”) One day you will realize the things that are making mean girls throw milk cartons at your head, are the very things that will make you “unique” and will allow you to be creative. So, if it makes you happy, wear the periwinkle puffy skirt (duck next time!), sleep on the floor next to your bed instead of in it (true story), stiff stuff your hair as big as you would like in the 80’s (the photos will crack you up one day) and wear makeup every day in college (eventually they will start wearing it too). It’s not bad at all to be a black sheep, in fact, its pretty sweet!

Xo Me

P.S. This might sound completely crazy, but one day you will have a cookie business!