The House of Shine is a website about living your life in such a way that the world becomes a brighter place.  Sometimes your shining will manifest in deep and profound ways such as identifying a need in your community, helping a person in despair, or raising the bar by modeling the principles in our Shine Manifesto.

Other times shining will come down to cookies.

And what doesn't shine about a sugar cookie recipe calling for FOUR sticks of butter?

Newcomers, hold onto your apron strings because you are about to embark on a favorite monthly ritual at the House of Shine.  

Each month we partner with Fancy Flours.  Their website, in case you haven't heard, is to bakers what Zappos is to shoe lovers or what iTunes is to music lovers!  Their specialty is cookie cutters - among other things.

House of Shine readers vote on the holiday most worth celebrating and the cookie cutter they would most like to see me use when making my celebration cookies.  Part of shining is rejecting mediocrity (Principle #7), so of course readers don't make it easy.  Never would you let me off the hook with hearts on valentines day, pumpkins in October, or flowers for Mother's Day.  Instead it would be more like this: a John Deere tractor on Valentine's Day, the number 4 in October, and an electric guitar for Mother's Day.

You get the gist.  Select the cookie cutter that you think will present the biggest challenge.

My job is to bake and decorate the cookies, package them, and to come up with a catchy slogan - one I could use in giving them as a gift, making edible invitations, or serving them at an event.

On the day I reveal my cookie cutter creation, you also get to take a stab at it.  Share an idea about how you might use the cookie cutter and your accompanying slogan.  If yours is voted the best, you stand a chance of winning your very own.  Cheryl can gloat, as she was the winner of last months bee hive and bee!  Can you bee-lieve it?

I'm feeling bold this month.  Maybe I am rebounding from my less-than-impressive showing last month (I might need a do-over).  It was bee-low average!

This month there will be no voting on the holiday.  I am making an executive decision.  July is our beloved Ray Wattson's birthday, so that is what we will be celebrating.  Every other July holiday (Fourth of July, National Ice Cream Month, and National Lollipop Day) all seem to pale in comparison.  If you don't know who Ray Wattson is, click here and learn a little more.  He's the snarky lightbulb that keeps this ship afloat (purple cowboy boots and all).

Which cookie cutter is good enough for Ray Wattson?  That is the question.  Check out the choices below - compliments of - and place your vote by tonight by 10:00 CST.  Then tune in next month to see what I've come up with.


Shining off until tomorrow...