A little bit of this and a little bit of that. Daily Ramblings, recipes, photos and whatever else I like to share along the way.

A new yummy find

Dh had the day off today, so we went out to lunch.

We decided to go to a local Middle Eastern restaurant and have pita sandwiches.

The last time we were there I had no time to eye the yummy desserts they had displayed. This time however, I made it a point to look them all over. Three glorious shelves packed (and I mean packed) with different mouth watering desserts.

So many to select from, but one caught my eye.

Pistachio Baklava.

mmm…. pistachios.

I had never seen baklava made with pistachios, so it was quite an easy decision for me.

Finally, my fresh pita sandwich was finished and I could now concentrate on the all important item left for me to enjoy.

(Trust me it was hard not to dive into the baklava while we waited for our food.)

Let me tell you that this was some of the best baklava I have ever had. I am not a big fan of regular baklava (I know, I know), it’s the honey. I don’t really like honey. (I can thank my mom for that tiny issue. You see she would make me take a spoonful of honey when I had a sore throat. *gag* I never liked the taste nor the thickness. )

It was not too sweet, not dry, not too much honey and stuffed with pistachios.

What a yummy treat!

I have to say it was so delightful it really was the perfect ending to my lunch.

Cool Memo Holder


What a cool memo holder.
This little person will add quite a bit of character to any desk and sure to become a conversation piece.
You can find the memo holder here.

Votive Review

I simply love candles/votives/wax melts.

It is so comforting and beautiful to see a candle burning.

When I opened my Little Black Box the other day, I zipped through all the goodies to check for anything wax. (Kinda like when you were a kid and stuck you hand down the center of the box of cereal for that special prize waiting for you. You just knew it was in there somewhere.)

I had found a melt but there had to be something else (not that there is anything wrong with melts…just looking for any other wax goodies), there just had to be. I decided to open the other box that was in my big box.



Ah-ha! In this wonderful little black box that was secured with a lovely red ribbon there was a votive! (<---That's the box.)

I knew what I was going to try immediately (I had found my prize!).



This little gem was from Contemporary Candles.

The votive was a great fragrance; it reminded me of something but what I could not place. It was not too floral (*phew* because I tend to develop massive migraines with floral fragrances) but it has sort of an edge to it. Quite nice is all I have to say.

I placed it in a nice tight glass votive holder, placed it in the kitchen and lit it. Looking at it I knew it might have a problem room with fragrance so I moved it to our main bathroom.

The votive burned nicely with a full pool (that would be the melted wax around the wick) and the fragrance was great. The bathroom was filled with the wonderful relaxing fragrance. I really wish I knew what the fragrance was, there was not a fragrance listed that I noticed on the box or the card that came with the votive. I tried to find it on their list but nothing seemed to fit, perhaps I will send them an email and inquire.

I have burned this votive now for three days and have not been disappointed.

This is one company that has totally impressed me with their votives.

Give them a try and see what you think.

Clicky

sleep....

I will be back tomorrow.
A wee bit sleep deprived (should have been in bed an hour ago).
Just wanted everyone to know I have not forgotten about you. *wave*
Right… I’m going to shuffle down the hall, fluff my pillow and call it a day.
Zzz……

Free McSkillet w/ purchase of Drink - McDonald's

Two Days - 02/28/2008 & 02/29/2008 - only during breakfast hours.

Stop by any McDonald's in the morning for a free McSkillet Burrito with any medium or large drink purchase.

What's inside - sausage, egg, peppers, onions, cheese, fire-roasted salsa, and skillet potatoes.


A Box full of Goodies




This is what arrived yesterday in the mail. *grin*

I ordered this from The Little Black Box this past Friday and it arrived Monday!

Talk about fast shipping.

This site has been bookmarked for over a year but I either forgot to order or they were already sold out.

This month I was able to get one.

So many wonderful little samples from various businesses to try and yup, I’ll post some reviews.

I already started to burn a votive that I received and it is lovely.

Woof...


This is Teddy (aka: Teddyboy, Teddy Spaghetti, Sir Fluffums) one of our dogs.
I have never had a dog with so much personality.

Just a few of his many quirks..
He will go out first thing in the am but if it is too early (before 7:30) he will go back to bed for another hour or two.
When the boys are in school he must go for the morning ride and be in the front seat. (window cracked for a bit of fresh air)
Bed time for him is 9:30 (promptly) and never ever try to move him when he is sleeping or he will give you the evil eye.
He carries his dog dish like Snoopy so that he can go somewhere else to eat and then lick the dish clean.

This past week he went in for his yearly shots and is now known as the stick dog.

You would think because he likes to fetch right?
Well he does like to fetch but it is because he loves to chew on sticks and then they get caught across the roof of his mouth.
We have been to the vet one too many times asking for assistance on getting them removed.

Silly dog.

Just thought I would share him with everyone.

Dunkin Donuts Deal


Tomorrow (Feb. 26th) from 1-10 pm at your local Dunkin' Donuts they are offering their small lattes, espressos and cappuccinos for .99 cents!

What a great treat!

Grab a friend and enjoy some time together.

For more information: Dunkin' Donuts

I'm protected!

I have Spiderman, Captain America and Wolverine on my side!
Really, they are on a band-aid I placed on my finger last night.
I cut my finger Saturday on a rose bush in the yard- no need to go into the silly details of how I was just waving my hand and the next thing I know I’m yelping out loud with a thorn in my finger.
You know there are many adults who would not be seen with a band-aid for kids.
Me, I don’t mind at all.
It has a tendency to turn into a conversation piece somewhere along the way.
Plus, I get to say that I’m protected by superheros!

Test your brand knowledge

Do you have perhaps two minutes (if it even takes that long) with nothing to do?

Take this fun little quiz and see how well you know your brands.

Come on… go take the quiz.

(Nothing like those tests from your past.)


I scored 18/20 - I can't believe the two I missed, not sure how that happened.

I would tell you which ones I missed but then you would possibly know the correct answer.

Yummy Freebie

Flat Earth chips is giving away a free full size bag of chips.

If you have not tired these before you are in for a real treat!

I love them, especially the Farmland Cheddar. *oh yum!*

My children were a bit reluctant to try them but once they did they were hooked.

Check out Flat Earth chips and they have a wide variety to select from.

Enjoy your chips!

First Photos


Yesterday was a simply beautiful spring day.

The morning started out foggy but soon that burned off and we were left with brilliant day.
I rustled up the family early so we could get a nice start on the day to take pictures and a nice walk. I grabbed the fully charged new camera and we were off.
We ended up walking in our local city, which has fabulous park areas and open spaces.

I promised that I would share some pictures and these are a few of the images I was able to capture from the day that were worth sharing.

Some pictures were cropped in Photoshop but for the most part I have left them alone.


^^ I love this tree!


Nate & Spencer atop a some rocks in the falls park.


Bib (aka: The Michelin Man) is located on the only retail shop in North America.

I think Bib is so cool. :-)

I still have a bit to learn about the camera but I kind of have the hang of it now. Next weekend, will be my first attempt at sports pictures when Spencer has his first soccer game of the year.

Oh.. what kind of camera did I get? An Olympus e-330 SLR.


If I must...



Yup, those are really my dh’s shirts waiting for weeks now to be ironed.
All 23 of them. *shuffles foot.. yeah, 23 shirts* He has a lot of extra shirts.
I really despise ironing and I am quite lucky he does not complain about this situation.
I do have good intentions but I never seem to get past that stage.
I bought a new iron a few years ago; I figured it would help me “like” ironing.
Um.. no, I like the iron but still not the job.
I know many ask me how can I not like doing it, it is mindless and goes so fast.
*sigh* Not for me.
I set up in front of the tv, to keep me going but that does not even make a dent.
Constantly I count how many are left and how long it is taking me to get done.
I have tried doing them each week but somehow they just end back up on a hanger waiting for me.
You will find me ironing all the shirts today and being done again for oh, another month.

Sights of Spring

A few lovely finds from today of the sights of spring.

Baking Finds

You have created the perfect cupcake but you want something just a bit more to dress it up.

Now you can have that extra special touch.

I stumbled upon these really beautiful cupcake holders while looking for some molded sugar decorations.

The holders are laser cut to create that beautiful detail for you and your guests to enjoy. They offer nineteen different types for you to select from.

You can purchase them here and check out their blog.




How cute are these ice cream cone cupcakes?
A silicone mold creates a “cone” that is really the cake part, all you have to do is all the icing and they are ready to serve!
If you have never used a silicone pan before don’t be afraid they are wonderful. Your baked goods never over bake in them and they are so easy to use.
Go to Collections Etc. for this item. I have ordered from them a few times before and have always been happy with my products.

(You can also find a set of three really cute baking pans while your there.)

Camera Update

The good news is my camera did arrive on Wednesday right before I left to pick up the kids from school. (Woo-hoo!) I ripped opened the box, held the camera, grabbed the instructions and off I went. I sat in the car reading the easy first 10 step instructions and then began the slow plunge into the BIG book of directions *gulp*. I was expecting to be able to take a few pictures right away, not so fast there Sandy. I had to charge the battery for up to five hours.. Drat! So, I get home help Spence with his homework and then dig out the battery to charge and plug it in. Check on it again and again, by the time it is ready (10 pm) and I’m ready for bed. It can wait until the next day.
So yesterday I wake with a mighty migraine that left me flat on my back and sick to my tummy. All I want to do is play, tinker and try the camera. In this state however, there was no way I was doing much of anything. I did slap together three lunches, zip the kids to and from school.
*sigh* by nightfall, it was not much better but I was able to put the strap on. (You know I have to be ill if I pass on watching the Thrashers on tv. I never miss their games when they are on.) I crawl into bed by 8:30 pm, and wake up at 1:30 am still in pain.
Arrgghh... I pop a few more Excedrin Migraine and go back to sleep.
I wake up this morning feeling like a wave has just washed over me, no more headache!!
Today I can play with the camera for a little bit.
I have thought myself how to delete the pictures already. The four pictures that I have already taken were quite blurry.
Hummm…. I think this may take a bit longer to get the hang of than I thought.
Perhaps I have too shaky a hand?!
Looking forward to going out this weekend trying to get some nice pictures of the local area. Don’t worry I’ll share them with you.

Horton Hears A Who - Preview

I totally forgot that this movie was going to be out this spring and it looks like it will be a wonderful family movie.
This movie is based off the book Horton Hears a Who by Dr. Seuss.

(A classic for all children.)
I must admit that this was one of my favorite books as a child.
Jim Carrey does the voice of Horton and it so fits the character.
The release date is March 14th, which is right around the corner.
Spencer was sitting here giggling while we watched the preview, and has already requested that we see it.

Have a look for yourself and enjoy!

(On the main page, they will be adding games and other activities for children.)

Antsy today...

My little face over there ----->

Shows that I am antsy today.

My new camera arrives today!

I can’t wait to hold it.
I will admit that I am a bit nervous to use it.

Let’s not mention all the new bells and whistles that will take me f-o-r-e-v-e-r (if ever) to learn.

It will be here in about five hours *cough* not that I am counting or anything.

Guess I had best keep myself busy for a few more hours…

Snickers Charged Bar

We picked two (they were 2 for .88 cents) of these up last week just to give them a try.

What is so special about this bar?

It has caffeine, taurine and B-vitamins inside (goodies that give you energy).

Feeling a bit slow before having to go back out for soccer practice last night I thought I would give the candy a try.
The bar tasted very much like a regular snickers bar, the only difference that I noticed was a very slight bitter taste after swallowing. This after taste did not bother me but I have read about others really disliking it.

Honestly, I did not get that rush of energy to help keep me going. Not sure that I was expecting to be zipping around in a mad rush but thought perhaps just a nice little boost to keep me going. Nothing. *sigh*
Perhaps others will get a bit of zing once consumed, but I think I will stick to just my plain Snickers bar for a treat and any extra boost of energy from a cup of coffee.

Side notes about the bar:

Included with the Snickers bar are the following stimulants:

60 mg Caffeine
250 mg Taurine
B6 - 10% of the RDA
B12 - 10% of the RDA

Snickers Charged™ contains 60 milligrams of caffeine. (this is a nice amount)

In comparison,

8-ounce soft drink contains 20-40 milligrams of caffeine,

8-ounce regular coffee contains 65-120 milligrams of caffeine

8-ounce energy drink contains 72-80 milligrams of caffeine.


Press release here.

It's Soccer Time

Last night was the first practice for the season and it was cold!!

Spencer has been bouncing off the walls since we received a phone call from his coach on Saturday stating when practice would start. He was dressed a full hour early, walking through the house with his cleats on and me reminding him a bazillion times to take them off while inside.

The magical hour arrived and we were off to the first practice. He was a bit nervous (he’s a quite boy) but his coach had them all state their names and begin drills right away – no time to dwell. They were doing their footwork, pairing with partners, working in small groups and then finally a tiny scrimmage. The parents on the other hand were trying to keep warm the whole time. It was about 45 degrees, windy and just plain raw. We all watched the first few minutes (being brave) and then slowly everyone began to go off to their cars where there was some warmth. I thought to myself; enjoy the cool now for in about four weeks we will be sweltering out here.

After a good long hour practice all the children found their ways to their cars with their warm parents waiting. Off we all drove back to our homes until the next practice on Friday.

Spencer enjoyed himself but was already stating what was a bit sore by the time we pulled into the drive way. A hot cup of chocolate, good hot bath to relax him (used one of my cupcake bath bombs) and he was in bed by eight thirty fast asleep.

Shuffle Price Drop

It was announced today that the cute little shuffle will drop in price. You will now have a choice of a 1GB for $49 or by the end of this month a nice 2 GB shuffle for $69!

I use Spencer’s when I go to the gym and I have to say I love it! I have my own Ipod Mini but the shuffle is just perfect to attach to my shirt and hit the weights. I know he is tired of having *gasp* mom’s music his shuffle. *ponders the thought* nice, new red shuffle, mine all mine…..


Now that's a lot of dough....

Anyone want a cookie?

I am more than willing to share, if you want one.

Dh brought home this box two weeks ago, full of frozen cookie dough.

A coworker went to the local Nestle Frozen Food Thrift Store and purchased them.

How many in the box you ask?

How about 22.5 pounds of cookie dough (yes, pounds)!

I think we have plenty of cookies to last us the year.

Finally Done!


I am really embarrassed to admit this but we actually still had a few Christmas decorations sitting out on a table.

I mean, I never really intended for it to take this long to get it all put away. Sure I see them daily, and they are right across from my computer desk. I just kept forgetting to pick up a new plastic tote when we went out.

Today they were finally put away. (Now they just to be placed in the attic.)

I had to run out and get some new soccer socks for my son for tonight (nothing like the last minute) and I passed the section of plastic totes. I stopped, turned and went down the aisle. I actually remembered that we needed one and was not going to put it off any longer. I went down the aisle and there was the perfect tote for all of our decorations.

I snapped the picture before I nestled all the decorations carefully away until we need them again.. only nine months from now.

Personal USB Mini Refrigerator

*scratches head*

I am not sure who would have one, but I am sure someone would want one.

Simply plug this little personal refrigerator into a USB port and will keep your drink hot or cold.

Look here to purchase or more information.

Cupcake Bath Bombs – Round One

Last Sunday, I attempted making some cupcake bath bombs.

I have seen them on many sites, I wanted to try making my own but never really knew what to use for the icing. Then I saw this post from The Soap Queen’s Blog. The wheels began to churn that these were something I could do and would try when the time was right.
I did not use the recipe provided for the bottom part, just the recipe for the frosting.
All the ingredients were set up in order, this way there was no way I could flub up or so I thought.

I mixed all my ingredients for the bottom, using Wilton yellow color and Apricot Freesia fragrance oil from Bramble Berry.

Just a side note: this Apricot Freesia is the best and I have tried quite a few over the past nine years.




Right, so I begin to put the mixture into the cupcake liners and making to press down really hard. (I was feeling quite proud of myself everything was going the way it should.)


Now it was time to make the frosting. I followed the directions but it was still a bit hard. I added in about another teaspoon of water (yes, I did measure the water.) Mixed that in, lifted out the electric beaters before totally stopped and there went a tiny bit of icing on the wall. I can clean that off, could have been worse. Still seemed a bit too thick but I placed it in a Ziploc bag (just nipped off a corner and put on a decorators tip) and felt full of hope. Gave it a good squeeze, and it was a bit stiff. Think to myself ah it will be all right just keep going. So I keep squeezing, placing a small band on the top of one bottom, then it happened. The bag burst on the side, icing all over and me scrambling to get the icing into another bowl. I was able to squeeze out a bit of
the remaining icing in the bag to the top of the cupcake bath bomb. Back to the bowl, I turned on the water and put some water in (oops, forgot to use a measuring soon) mix it up again and now it is runny.
Perhaps it will thicken in time.
What was I thinking?
I placed it in a new bag and hope for the best. It was sort of working, allowing me to add a whipped look to the tops but I would soon find out that they would not be there for long. The icing went flat so I added a few sprinkles.

The icing did finally harden after twenty-four hours and the bottom part is rock hard.
My son saw one in the bathroom and said, “Mom this cupcake looks too freaking real.”

Next time, I will use a measuring spoon with the water and know what to look for when I create the icing. I purchased a wider decorators tip perhaps this will help the bag from splitting. I hope to tinker with another batch this week.


^^^^This was the first cupcake I tried to create, the one where the bag exploded on me.

The Garden Bath - Review


I was just looking through Etsy a few weeks back not really looking for anything special.
When what did I see?
Some jaw dropping product labels.
I knew I had to have a look at the product inside.
The labels are so eye catching I did not even have a second thought.
My order was processed quickly and arrived without a hitch.
(I just love to get goodies in the mail!)

What did I receive?

Sea Breeze Sugar Scrub - sample size
Peach Fuzz Sugar Scrub - sample size
Island Grapefruit Velvet Butter Cream – sample size

The sample sizes are nicely sized and those labels… wow!
The Island Grapefruit fragrance in the lotion was a bit soft for me. I like the in your face grapefruit fragrance, that makes you want to reach for a napkin and wipe your chin. The lotion is nice, creamy, and thick. First, I used the lotion for my arms but *I* felt it was a bit too heavy for this area. I ended up using it for my heels, (they tend to need a bit of extra pampering), and it worked like a champ. My heels are happy again!

This an emulsified scrub, which means the oils will disperse in the water. There is no mixing the oils in, having your skin feel super greasy after it is washed off, or a slippery tub floor.
I fell in love with the Sea Breeze fragrance; it is nice, crisp, and so clean. The scrub left my skin feeling nice and clean. I did not have to use a lot of get the desired results for my skin. I have not used my peach scrub yet but I can tell you that it is a mouth-watering fragrance.

You will find a nice variety of products for yourself or for someone you want to treat at The Garden Bath .

Zednik Goes Home

After a very scary incident last weekend in Buffalo, Florida Panthers Richard Zednik went home on Friday!!

As a big hockey fan, this is wonderful news.

I wish him all the best on his road to recovery.

You can read more about the good news here.

Indiana Jones is Back!

Indiana Jones is back this summer!

(It has been excessively long.)

The movie looks like it will be really good.

The movie seems to be full of action and quirky lines in true Jones style.

Check out the movie trailer here.

Camera Shopping

I'm looking to purchase an SLR camera.
I tend to research things way beyond what most would do.
Right now, I am really torn between the Nikon 40D and the Pentax 100D Super.

I like the Pentax because we would be able to purchase older Pentax lenses and they would still work. (how cool is that?!)
The Nikon seems to fit my hand better. (being picky)
I do like the photo quality of both cameras.
Decisions, decisions… and I am not good with making decisions.

What will I snap photos of… um.. well, my family, outdoors, my son playing his sports, and just everyday stuff. Not a professional here in any way, shape or form. Just want some really decent photos and would really like to have a nice camera.

If anyone has some input on either camera, please let me know!


Happy Valentine's Day

Goodies to a Friend

Shhh…..
Just a quick peek on some bath goodies being sent to a great online friend in the UK.
lotions, bath bombs, fizzing cupcake, soap and more soaps...
I can’t wait until she receives them!

Double Layer Chocolate Cake Recipe

I know you have been waiting to learn how to make the Double Layer Chocolate cake I posted about last week.
Finally, here is the recipe!
The recipe comes from Ina Garten (Food Network/Barefoot Contessa) and it really is out of this world.
When you are finally ready to have a slice, make sure you have a nice tall glass of milk handy. :->
This recipe is easy to make and I’m sure a big hit with your family. You might be put off by the coffee but you will never be able to taste it once baked.

Cake Ingredients:

1 ¾ cups all purpose flour, plus more for dusting

2 cups sugar

¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder

2 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. baking power

1 tsp kosher salt

1 cup buttermilk

½ cup vegetable oil

2 large eggs

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee

Frosting Ingredients:

6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, coarsely chopped

2 sticks (1/2lb) unsalted room temp butter

1 large egg yolk

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

1 cup plus 1 tbsp confectioners sugar (icing sugar), sifted (measure first then sift)

Make the cake:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter two 8” round cake pans and line them with parchment paper. Butter the paper. Dust the pans with flour, tapping out any excess.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle, mix the flour with the sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt at low speed. In a medium bowl, whisk the buttermilk with the oil, eggs, and vanilla. Slowly beat the buttermilk mixture into the dry ingredients until just incorporated and then slowly beat in the hot coffee until fully incorporated.

Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake for 35 minutes or until a toothpick or cake tester comes out clean from the center of each pan. Let the cakes cool in the pans for 30 minutes, and then invert them onto a rack to cool completely. Peel off the parchment paper.

Make the Frosting:

In a microwave safe bowl, heat the chocolate at high heat for 30-second intervals, stirring until most of the chocolate is melted. Stir until completely melted then set aside to cool to room temp.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle, beat the butter at medium speed until pale and fluffy. Add the egg yolk and vanilla and beat 1 minute, scraping down the side of the bowl. At low speed, slowly beat in the confectioners sugar, about 1minute. In a small bowl, dissolve the instant coffee in 2 tsp of hot water. Slowly beat the coffee and cooled chocolate into the butter mixture until just combined.

** I do not use the coffee to flavor the icing. I add 1 tsp. of vanilla and it comes out just perfect.

Assembly:

Set a cake layer on a plate with the flat side of the cake facing up. Evenly spread 1/3 of the frosting over the cake to the edge. Top with the second cake layer, rounded side up. Spread the remaining frosting over the top and side of the cake. Refrigerate for at least one hour before slicing. The frosted cake can be refrigerated for 2 days. Let stand 1 hour before serving.

Trip to the Doctors

I spent just over hour at our pediatrician’s office.
My boys have been home since late last week running a fever, coughing, sniffling, and over the weekend came the complaints that their chests hurt. I was hoping when I woke up today that they would be ready to head back to school.

No such luck, I was off to the doctors instead.

I called into the doctors at 8:15 and was told to be there by 11:50, not too bad.
I arrived early eager to get in before our appointment and be done early. HA!
Open door, and holy cow, there are people all over in the sick area and of all ages. I knew that there is a huge flu outbreak here in South Carolina but this was crazy.

We waited about thirty minutes before we were even taken back to a room. (Not a good sign.) There were so many people coming in, they were now sitting in the healthy area of the office, and some were leaving their cell numbers to be called while they waited in their cars. I have never seen so many in there, ever and it has been ten years now. There was just a steady stream of sick looking children, poor kids. The whole time all that was going through my head was that I did not want us to pick up any of this stuff going around.

Finally, we were in our little “safe” room. All temperatures were take, symptoms jotted down and now just to wait for the doctor. She zipped in, looked over the symptoms on the computer and said she was happy to see some “healthy” children. I think I would be too after what we just witnessed. Turns out one has an earache (he never complains when he has them) and Bronchitis and the other on the edge of developing Bronchitis. Once she was done emailing our prescriptions, she smiled at all of us and said, “Now hopefully, we will not see you back here next week with another type of illness with all that is hanging around that waiting room.” I smiled and told her not if we could help it.




Free Pancake Day - IHOP

mmmm...... pancakes

Tomorrow (2/11/08) is free Pancake Day at IHOP.

You can get a stack of three pancakes from 7 am to 10 pm.

This is a fundraiser for the Children’s Miracle Network or other local charity, so they ask that you consider a donation (not mandatory).

You can read all the fine print and locate your local IHOP here.

Tinkering about

Today was the day to make bath bomb cupcakes.
I have wanted to try these for quite sometime and today was that lucky day.
Let’s just say the frosting was a wee bit of a disaster for me. (What else is new?)
The bag sprung a leak due to the icing being too hard, and I had to scramble to fix the whole mess. (Thank goodness for extra Ziploc bags and icing tips!)
I will be attempting these again later in the week.
Oh don’t worry I’ll post my trial batch tomorrow – minus the disaster.

Finally, I created some new labels for a whole bunch of goodies to be mailed overseas.
I find creating labels fun, call me strange.

Worked on boxing some other goodies up for another friend, your package will be on the way tomorrow. I know, about time.

Washed some blankets since it was nice and windy outside. What an easy way to get a bit of fresh air in the house.

I think I will relax with one of my boo-boo bath cupcakes tonight.

A Charlie Brown Christmas Tree


So there you are sitting wondering why is she writing about this now?
Doesn’t she know that Christmas just forty-four days ago?
Sure, I know but I wanted to share my find with everyone.
You can now buy your own!
How can you resist this special tree that just needs a little bit of love?
You can purchase some light blue fleece material and create your own blanket to wrap around the tree.
This has been added to my wish list for Christmas this year.
One can never have too many trees during the holiday.

One tiny tid bit about me (like it or not), I simply ADORE Charlie Brown & Gang.
Growing up I read all the little comic books (still have many of them), watched the holiday specials (still do), watched the Saturday morning cartoons (short lived), had a few t-shirts, a watch (now broken *sniff*) and a few other items.
I am always on the look out for some cute items and this one fits the bill!

Chocolate Birthday Cake


Happy Birthday Sweetie!!

(I'll post the recipe later so you can make your own cake.)

The Chronicles of Narnia: Price Caspian - Sneak Peek

Check out a sneak peek for the next movie The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian.

*scratches head* I am not sure how I missed the teaser during the Super Bowl but apparently I did.

I have to say that it looks quite good; we have it marked down for May. Looking forward to some good summer movies.

Beer Soap, Coffee Soap & Fruity Soap

I have been tinkering a bit behind the scenes with my soap making.
Trying new items that I have always been curious about but never had the nerve to try.
I decided it was time to put on my big girl pants and tackle them head on.

The beer soap is that nice white one. I received a bar of beer soap from a fellow soaper last year and my hubby just loved it. The draw was never really there for me to try to make one but once I tried her bar, I knew I would have to attempt it. You have to make sure the beer is good and flat otherwise you could have a bit of a problem when you add the lye. After two days of mixing the beer to make sure it was flat, the time had come to attempt the soap. I decided to use tangerine & grapefruit fragrance oil and could not wait to begin. All items were mixed/melted and it was now time to put it all together. I mixed items together, added the fo in and while mixing the fragrance in I noticed that I had not lined my mold.

Umm… just a wee bit of a problem. Not good...

I quickly whip out my parchment paper, run to the dining room to grab my mold, cut the paper to fit inside the mold and race back over to my pot of soap sitting in the sink.

To my horror, it was turning into mass of glop!

How could this be?

No time to add any fancy colors I wanted to play with. *pout*

I quickly grabbed the soap pot, a large spoon, and smushed the soap into the mold. Banged it a few times to get any bubbles out, put the lid on and crossed my fingers. After all that excitement, I could have sworn that it was not a fragrance that would accelerate trace; I mean I looked it over more than once. I went and double-checked and *blush* some how I misread the item. In the end, it has turned out to be a lovely bar of soap and a learning experience.

The coffee soap is turning out just as I had hoped it would. I used real coffee for the liquid– it was left over from a previous day – so no good coffee was wasted. I made sure to use a coffee fragrance oil so it has just been deepening as it cures. I removed some soap before I added the fragrance and added some liquid titanium dioxide.
Mmmm… great for those hard to wake up mornings.
side note: I never have enough patience to mix the powdered titanium dioxide or for that matter any oxide or mica into my soaps. I always, always, always end up with little flecks or dots in my end product and this frustrates me to no end. With the liquid dioxide, the frustration is removed and I can just continue with my project.

The fruity soap is simply yummy! The fruit fragrance is rounding out quite nicely and the color is just what I had wanted.

I’m quite proud of my new soaps and can’t wait to use them!

Scarf - Finished


Time was short but the challenge was on and I was able to accomplish the task!

The scarf has been washed, wrapped and in the box ready to ship. *phew*

Our nephew has a scarf that my DH made two years ago for him but he has outgrown that one. It was time for a new one and I thought one for a birthday gift would be quite nice. Dh is short on spare time so it was up to me. (He is the one who does the weaving – well, not any more.) I had never weaved before this was my first project. I see small boo boo’s here and there but as my hubby told me they just add character to the item. I guess he is right.

I have my next project lined up, a scarf for my oldest son. He has the yarn picked out, now just to get the yarn ready to weave.

If you are wondering what kind of loom we have it is a Rigid Heddle Loom by Ashford. I think one of our next investments (if I keep this up) will be a stand for the loom. The loom is fine on a table but I think the stand will be a bit more versatile. I am very interested in learning how to make some place mats, guess I will be doing some research over the next few weeks.

Looks like I found a new hobby.

Exercise

I am not fond of it at all.

I know all the wonderful benefits but really, I don’t like to exercise.

Never really have. Never really will.

I remember in high school (yes, I can remember back that far) when we would have to run two laps around the track before we would start class.

Running.. Oh no, I don’t think so.

I discovered weight lifting in college and fell in love with it. The sad part was that I never kept it up.

Flash forward to now, two kids, frazzled and needing some *gasp* exercise.

We bought a really nice treadmill last spring. I would use it every so often but not constantly. There was always an excuse why I was not on there “feeling the burn.” Just a tiny note, I walk on it not run. (I still am not into running.)

About four months ago, I decided to use the Y membership we have as a benefit from my DH’s company. I was a bit intimidated to start up after all these years. I had always wanted to use an elliptical machine. They look so cool and come on how hard could they really be? OMG! The first day, I got on, plugged in the information, and went for it. About two minutes into the exercise, I was crying inside from the pain. My legs were on fire, arms burning, and I wanted to stop. Two more painful minutes elapsed and then I was able to hop off with my legs feeling like Jell-O. The weight machines were calling my name and figured why not. Ahh.. this was so much better. I went from machine to machine and loved every minute of it. That night I made a decision not the let that elliptical get the best of me.
By the time Christmas rolled around, I was up to fifteen minutes and I was feeling really good.

Then it struck.. The holidays and no time to get my exercise in due to the school holiday break, no babysitter, and kiddos not old enough to be left alone. It will be just fine I kept telling myself; I’ll do my DVD’s, use the treadmill, and keep it up until they go back.

Um.. good intentions.

I ended up sick for two weeks, house needing to be cleaned up, errands all over the place and me never exercising.

This past week, I dusted off the treadmill and figured that I should get back on the wagon. What am I thinking? I used it five out of seven days, not too bad.

Today, I was back at the Y. I was not looking forward to the elliptical; I knew it was going to kick me. I plugged in my information and off I went. To my surprise, I did eleven minutes! Not bad considering I have not been on it in two months. The weights are another issue; they have all new weight machines. How could they do this to me?

I liked the old white ones, but these fancy shiny new red ones have replaced them. *sigh* Guess I will have to give them a chance and I did use a few of them today.

Looks like I am back on the exercise kick for a bit.

Shh…don’t tell anyone but I think I just may like to exercise a little bit now.

Off to find some aspirin….

New Project - A Scarf




Not sure how I got myself into this project but I did.

I am weaving a scarf that needs to be done by Monday night.
Why so soon?!
You see it needs to be in the mail by Tuesday so it can be in Pennsylvania by Thursday.
That is our nephew's birthday.

Great.. just great...

I have never done this before, so it is proving to be quite interesting.
I'll be sure to post finished scarf.
Must get back to weaving, time is ticking.

Chocolate Skittles Candy

Chocolate Skittles Candy?!

They were sitting there right next to the yummy regular fruity Skittles in the check out line.

How could I not try them?

I grabbed a package and went forward to pay for my groceries.
Finally home, groceries away, I cut open the bag to try the new goodies.
They looked really good, nothing out of the ordinary and there are four great flavors.
Those flavors would be Brownie Batter, Vanilla, Chocolate Caramel, and S’mores.

Humm…. Which flavor to select from first?

I started with the chocolate caramel (mmm….caramel).. not bad at all.
Next up was the Brownie Batter; I was looking forward to this one. I love the taste of brownie batter, that rich chocolate goodness, so creamy and rich.
With my mouth watering, I popped in the candy and um… wait, something has to be wrong this is not what I was expecting.
I quickly swallowed the candy and raced for a drink of water. Something had to cut the awful chemical taste that was left in my mouth.

Ack!

I looked at the remaining flavors, recalled the moment that had just passed and opted to toss the rest. These are not for me, but I am sure there will be others out there that enjoy them.
I will stick to my trusty M&M’s for my little chocolate fix.

Crocs & Recycling


So you have a pair of Crocs that you have worn out which leaves you wondering what to do with them. Right?!

Great News!

You can now recycle them!

The Crocs company has developed a wonderful program that will use 20% of the recycled product to create new shoes. These shoes will then be sent to approved non-profit organizations around the world.

Click here to read more about this wonderful program.

Blog Widget by LinkWithin