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.

Run Fatboy Run - Review

We decided to kick back, watch a movie and relax tonight.

I have wanted to watch this romantic comedy since I heard about it earlier this year.

We did laugh, enjoy ourselves and the ending was *wink* a happy one. (I love a happy ending.)

Simon Pegg (Shawn of the Dead & Hot Fuzz fame) is spot-on with delivering the laughs.

If you get the chance give it a try, I think that you will be surprised and enjoy it.



Lititz, PA – Chocolate & Pretzels

Lititz is such a quaint town in Pennsylvania.

We visited there after our tour of Hershey to take in the Wilbur Chocolate Museum.
Wilbur chocolate has a long history behind it and creates some wonderful milk chocolate.

When you enter the building you can hear the machines upstairs churning away processing & making the chocolate. There are two room devoted to products they made along with various items used to make chocolate candy. They also had a video of the process that you could watch.

Nate had no trouble finding some chocolate that interested him. His lovely selection was a milk chocolate with puffed rice, Spencer wanted gummy worms, and I found a *hold on to your hat* chocolate covered Nutter Butter cookie. OMG!

The milk chocolate they made is super creamy and not overly sweet, it reminds me of a European chocolate. Oh, it is so good. We have since signed up for a catalog to have some goodies shipped to us during the fall/winter.

We placed our purchases in a cooler we had brought along because it was so hot and I did not want a melted mess.


The town has a beautiful park that has a large gazebo and fountain. There is a steam that runs through that had so many ducks, we watched them for a few minutes before we headed off to Sturgis Pretzels.

The Julius Sturgis Pretzel Bakery is in the original 1861 building that Mr. Sturgis made his first commercial pretzel in. I love old stone buildings and would love to hear the walls talk.
Anywho..
This was the second trip to this bakery for the boys and I, we wanted to share the fun with dh. You learn how to roll a pretzel the proper way and the meaning behind the shape. When you are done you and are awarded a certificate.

Nate made an excellent pretzel!

You learn how the pretzels were once baked, dried and then sold.

You can purchase various types of pretzels after your tour.

They now sell soft pretzels for $1.00, however they were not sold back in the day of Julius Sturgis. When you complete the tour you receive a small bag of pretzels. The pretzels are still family owned under the name Tom Sturgis. The pretzels are no longer rolled by hand; they are extruded and made in Shillington, PA.

It was a great day and then again what day is not good without chocolate & pretzels?!

Oh, that chocolate covered Nutter Butter was out of this world. I have to admit that I ate it before I even thought about snapping a picture to share with everyone. Sorry *blush*

Hershey's Chocolate World - Visit

Spencer simply cannot visit his grandparents and not request a trip to the Hershey’s Chocolate World.

Simply put he LOVES to go to Hershey’s.


I am always amazed at the chocolate scent that just floats through the air.


Hershey’s Chocolate World is a great way to see the process of how the famous chocolate is created. There is no admission fee for this attraction and you are rewarded with a sample of one of their products. This time we had two pieces of the Bliss Raspberry chocolates, and they were good!

You actually ride in these attached cars that go around to various portions to show you the stages that the cocoa bean goes through until it becomes a piece of chocolate. When you are done you have the option of purchasing a picture that was taken of your car along the way. Then you walk down into an area that sells all sorts of Hershey’s products, you will find everything from cookies, to candy, to shirts to stuffed toys. Honestly, it is chocolate overload when it comes down to making a purchase. I found some unique kisses that I purchased and I will be reviewing them over the next week. :)

There is also Hershey Park that you can do with the family, and a zoo, the flower gardens (they are stunning), and much more. It is a wonderful place to take a family vacation, enjoy the sites and all that chocolate!



**Majority of my photos will soon be added to a new flickr badge so I do not take up too much space on the blog.**

Quick Lemon Cheesecake - Recipe

Today is/was National Cheesecake Day.

All I have to say is, “Mmmm..cheesecake.”

I adore a good slice of NY style cheesecake, to me there is nothing finer.

This is not cheesecake is not a NY style but is nice, creamy, light and refreshing on a hot summer day.

The recipe come from The Recipe Hall of Fame Cookbook, which is stuffed full of super recipes.


* Exported from MasterCook *

Quick Lemon Cheesecake

Recipe By :
Serving Size : 10 Preparation
Categories : Dessert

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
-------- ------------ --------------------------------
1 graham cracker crumb pie crust
1 8 oz cream cheese, softened
2 cups milk, skim (divided)
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 package instant lemon pudding

  1. Beat cream cheese until soft.
  2. Blend in 1/2 cup milk.
  3. Add remaining milk,sugar, vanilla, and pudding mix; mix well.
  4. Pour into crust.
  5. Chill until firm.

You can top with whipped cream and strawberries or cherries.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 258 Calories; 14g Fat (48.2% calories from fat); 4g Protein; 29g Carbohydrate; trace Dietary Fiber; 26mg Cholesterol; 377mg Sodium. Exchanges: 1/2 Lean Meat; 0 Non-Fat Milk; 2 1/2 Fat; 1 1/2 Other Carbohydrates.

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince - Preview

I am so ready to see the movie after watching the trailer today.
We are all HP fans in this house and love to watch the movies again and again.
We are definitely in for a treat this November.
Go ahead and take a look.


TCBY Waffle Cone Wednesdays

I was given this heads up about a wonderful summer treat being offered by TCBY.

So go grab your pen and mark your calendars for this wonderful treat.

Starting on August 1st, every Wednesday TCBY is offering a waffle cone with one scoop of fro-yo for only .99 cents!

The regular price averages from $3-$4, now that is one sweet deal!

This deal does not last long; it roughly ends at the end of August so make sure you visit your local TCBY for a little summer fun on Wednesdays!

Check out TCBY to find one near you.

A 12th Birthday to Remember…

Nate celebrated his birthday twice while we were away. (lucky kid!)
I thought I would share his cakes that we created while away, I am tickled with how they turned out. *grin*
This year Nate wanted something Mario, he has found video games and his favorite currently are the Mario ones.

This cake I created at my parent’s house. I purchased this Mario laser edible topper for the cake. Then Nate and I went out shipping for some stars and found some red glitter gel along the way – perfect! I cut out the mushroom shaped cookies, it only took two takes before we had them right. The first batch expanded and well, they no longer looked like mushrooms. Lol..




The next cake he had on his birthday was made by my mil and sil, and they did a great day making a 1 up mushroom for him. They cut the cake to resemble a mushroom and then decorated it accordingly.



I think that this was one birthday that he will never forget.

HOME!!!


Ah… there is no place like home. (even if I have some issue with it)

My own bed, my own carpeting, my washer (yeah, I like to do laundry), the clothes line…ah… it is nice to be home again.

Our trip was good, but man, I am so tired.

I should be zipping around the house but instead I am as slow as a turtle. All I want to do is just curl up and sleep the day away. (sure sounds good in theory but there is no way I would be able to do that.)

So please be gentle with me, I promise to get back into the swing of things over the next few days.

The boys were able to do and see so much in our short stay of eight days!

We had hoped to take them to Philly (mm… a ture Philly pretzel) but time was not on our side.

Perhaps we shall try to sneak that one in when we head back for the holidays this year. It will be less crowded and not so hot which is always a bonus in my books.

I learned on this trip that I do not like those GPS things!
We used on with my MIL one day and one day only. That voice was so irritating and constantly giving us updates.
Argh.. no thanks!
Give me a map any day of the week!

I know what a pipe bomb sounds like when it goes off. Lol…
We were strolling through a city we used to live in (not a very big city mind you) while heading back to our car and we heard a loud BOOM! We all jumped but nobody said anything, which in itself was odd. That night we learned that a pipe bomb was set off in a drainage pipe. Alrighty then….

I thought I would break down various portions of the trip, so that those wonderful day trips we took have their own time.

First up…Hershey’s!

Personalized Fruit Roll-Ups


Did you know that you could create your own personalized fruit roll ups?

Yup, you sure can.

Now how fun is that?!

What a great treat for birthdays, sport teams, or a just because surprise.

You can personalize, add a design to your rolls and they will be delivered right to your door.

The cost is $29.99 for 30 plus tax and shipping.

Check out how to create your own personalized fruit roll ups at MyFruitRollUps.com.

Wrapping it Up...



Can you guess where we went by the picture?!

What a whirl wind the last few days have been.
Sun burn (again), severe motion sickness (never going on the tilt a whirl again), go, go go!
I have squirreled away and found a few minutes to write a quick post.

We are leaving tomorrow not sure what time but I do know it will be a long ride home.
Not looking forward to 10+ hours in the car and the traffic.
I am however looking forward to being home. :>

A nice visit but we need some R&R.

Checking In...


Alright, I know I have not been online much to keep you posted.
It has been quite a whirl wind since we left my parents on Monday afternoon.
Sunday we had cake to celebrate Nate's birthday with my family.
(I'll share that cake on Thursday)
Monday, we went out for pizza at the Colonial in Easton (old stomping grounds for dh and I).
Then I ended up with a whopper of a migraine and I was toast for the night and struggled through the day today. *ick*

Late nights and early mornings= not so wonderful headaches for me.

Anywho...

Today we went to Yuengling Brewery in Pottsville, Pa (another old stomping ground for me) and it was great! The tour has not changed much and the boys really enjoyed themselves. Plus, free beer for the adults. *wink, wink* I can't wait to write about this when I get back home.

Then off to Knoebels Park for the afternoon. Yes, I still had my headache but it was still a good time. A great family park that does not hurt the piggy bank, how cool is that?!



So, for now I am going to sign off and get some sleep. Dh has turned in for the night and the laptop is sort of keeping him up. I need nobody grumpy in this house.
I think tomorrow we are off to do a tour of Martin Guitar!

Take care and I'll check in tomorrow night with you!

Hopewell Furnace - Day Trip

Yesterday was Saturday and for our day trip we went to the Hopewell Furnace.

This was another historical site I had wanted to visit for quite some time. When we used to live in Pa somehow we never ended up going there but finally I can say I have been there.

The ride was short and sweet about thirty minutes, the heat and humidity however were something else. *phew!* I know your saying but she is from South Carolina and she should be used to it. Let me tell you the humidity up here is quite different than what you experience in the south. I have no clue why or perhaps it is all in my head but it just feels so different.

The site is quite nice and very well maintained. We were lucky for they were reenacting the setting up the charcoal pit as it would have been done back when the furnace was working, they had men showing how they created casts of the parts of the stove and they even had a blacksmith working.

We were able to walk around and enjoy the sites at our pace. The ranger was quite friendly and was willing to answer any question that we had about the site. The first item we did was watch an intro video about the furnace (nice to have some background information), then check out the artifacts that were found and finally head down to the site.

The boys really enjoyed themselves and even completed a fun little activity paper to teach them more about the site. When they were done, they earned a badge for this National Park.

Along the way home we stopped at another furnace in the area, this one there really was not much to see except the furnace.

It always amazes me how far we have really come through the years.




**more pictures to follow

Sites of Pennsylvania



Skippy!

I am online and back into my blog tonight. *VBG*

I did try to get in last night but I had a temporary brain freeze, for the life of me I could not think of my password. *rolls eyes*

Google was getting cranky with me, it was 11pm I was tired so I said, “It’s going to wait until the morning.”

Our trip up was pretty smooth sailing. The only thing that made me sad was that I lost my initial charm to my bracelet outside of Charlotte. *sniffle* I was trying to get the dogs out of the car in some semi orderly fashion (they were bouncing all over the place) and they wound themselves around me a few times hitting my wrist. I think this is probably when it fell off, I did not notice it missing until we were in Roanoke, VA. No chance at that point of me driving three, hours back to look for it.

Today was one packed day.

This is where we went. *grin*


Spencer loves to go to the Hershey tour when we visit my parents, for him it is not a trip unless we visit the Hershey. We know the words by heart to the tour but it does not dampen our spirits one little bit.

**I think I will have to try and break some of these days down a bit at a later time. There is quite a bit I would really like to share with everyone and I am really on limited time. So for now just a few pictures and then when I am back I will share the sites in depth. **

Then we went to Lititz, PA, which is such a quaint town. We stopped in at Wilbur Chocolate, to see even more wonderful chocolate made by hand.

Needless to say…mmm.. Chocolate.

I found this sign at the chocolate store and thought it was great!


After purchasing a few more pieces of chocolate we were off to walk in the park and then head over to the Julius Sturgis house for a pretzel tour. Mr. Sturgis was the first to create a commercial pretzel factory in the USA – pretty interesting.


Then we had one last stop before we would head back home and that was to the Ephrata Cloister. I had always wanted to go there since my one college roommate took me past it on a trip back to her house (ah, many moons ago).


I was a happy little camper snapping pictures right and left. You will notice when I finally get all the pictures up that I took many window shots, I can’t explain why but the windows just captured my attention.

It was quite a busy day today, not sure what is on tap for tomorrow but for now, I am hitting the hay!




Update - Soap Give Away..

I have contacted the winner but I have yet to hear anything from them. *frown*

I will send another email and if I have no reply it will go to our runner up.

I did have Spencer select another name from the pot because I have a feeling we just might need a new winner.

If I do not hear back from the winner by next Monday (7/21), then I will show the new winner. The soaps will not ship out to the winner until we return home (7/27).

Thanks for sticking with me on this one and I will keep you posted.

I will have another give away when we return. J

Be Good!

Road Trip...

In a few short hours we are off to Pennsylvania to visit a portion of our families. This is our yearly migration north, the kiddos get to see grandparents and parents get to be stressed out. Sounds like fun, right?

There is a reason why we live where we do.

This year we are not going to drive all twelve hours in one shot. TG! The plan is to stay somewhere in Winchester, VA for the night. Sleep, swim and chill. (sounds good to me) Then get up early on Thursday and drive the rest of the three hours to our first stop.

First up – my parents

I have no clue as to what we are going to do there. I know on Sunday we are celebrating Nateman’s birthday (he will be 12 on 7/24). My brother will be there and my Uncle so it will be nice to see them again. This too is a yearly, “Hey, how have you been. What’s new? Keeping busy? Boy the kids are getting big, aren’t they? - kinda gathering.

I’m sure there will be a few lectures (yeah, my mom is still good at that) and some frazzled nerves with the kid running around creating chatter. Don’t get me wrong my parents love their grandchildren but they do tend to get the best of them most of the time.

Anywho...

I will check in daily, though it is more than likely going to be late when I post. Neither sets of parents are tickled when we are on the computer tinkering. Ah, reminds me of those teenage years when I was oh so pointedly reminded of my tasks that needed to be done and better things to do with my time. Yesh!

I promise to share pictures and try to have some fun while away.

I know I that I must have a Tastykake Cream Filled Koffee Kake

mmm…. tastykake.

Gotta go!

To Do...


I have so many of these little post it notes all over the house to keep me reminded of what has to be done before we leave tomorrow.

On top of the that, I have a list (or two or three) to help me keep on track so I will not forget anything that could have been missed on any of the post it notes.

Really it is quiet insane.

I am running at the speed of a turtle currently, I need to kick it up a notch. :-(

One child still fast asleep (it is now 9:30), and we have so much to get done.

Not to mention that Nate has a 2nd orthodontic consult today, Spencer wants to go swimming before the Dr’s appt, laundry, house to tidy up, clothes to pack, plants to water, a dog to wash and some errands to run.

Ugh..

I am off to look at a list to plan the next course of attack for this morning.

Now the question is what list to look at?!

It's Clean!!!



Look…

Can you see the carpet?

It must be going to snow. (a saying my dad would use when we surprised him doing something.)

I was stunned this morning when Nate said to me that I just might be surprised.

I gave him a blank look and then it hit me.

OMG! He cleaned his room up.

(Shame though, I was going to take a picture of just how bad it looked to blog a before and after.)

His room was always spotless as a youngster, everything always had to be picked up, placed in the right spot and he made his bed.

*shakes head*

What happened to that person?

Oh! That pile of shorts in the back corner was made by me as I sorted through all of his stuff to be washed.

The books however have been there since the last day of school (6/5) and more than likely they will remain there until it starts back up again in a few weeks.

Ah… children.

Procrastination....

I have to say that normally I am not one to procrastinate.

In fact I am the complete opposite; I am the one who gets started right away when items are presented to me and completes them early.

Yet this year, I seem to be slipping into a pattern of putting things off until the last minute or simply just tired of looking at something.

Such a slippery slope I am heading down and I do not really like it too much.

Today, however I decided that it was time to take on some of those jobs I have not accomplished.

I was able to paint the last drawer for the kitchen, pull the weeds in a few flower patches, shred a pile (and I mean a pile) of paper, clean out the laundry room, bag some clothes for Goodwill, make a pile of papers that will need to be filed and put fertilizer on my flowers.

*phew*

It was a packed day of getting items completed that should have been done in oh..ah…um... May.

Ya know it was still a struggle to get them done.
I honestly just wanted to curl up with my book in bed and tune out for the whole day.

Hopefully, I am done with procrastinating for a bit of time.

Guess that I should not mention that I have to get some items ready ship that I sold on Ebay but I think I will wait until tomorrow morning. *blush*

This may take some time….

(photo from Despair Inc)

I'm Plurking...

I’m Plurking….

I know quite a few who Twitter but that just did not interest me.

Then I stumbled upon a site called Plurk.

So, off I clicked into the site to see what it was all about and ended up joining.

It is a bit like Twitter but I really liked the feel and look of Plurk.

It somehow seems to fit me better. :P

You can follow along ( over there in my side bar) and see tiny snips of what I am doing.

If you really want you can join in and become a fan.

We have a winner!!!



Spencer with soap pot in hand.


giving the names a good stir and ......

picking the winner's name out


Congratulations Cybele!!!!

Sorry for taking so long in getting this post up.
We ended up treating ourselves to breakfast out, then the car needed an oil change, a few things for the trip on Wednesday and then finally home. Then I had an issue with my computer, ugh..

Thanks to everyone who entered!!
Keep watching for the next give away!

Beer Soap -Take 2...

Earlier this week I made beer bread, and it was really good!

Now in preparation for the bread, I took out a bottle of beer, popped it open and left it so it would become flat.

The problem was that the beer needed to be only room temp not flat.

See it has been a whole week of me not reading correctly.

Now what was I going to do with the flat beer?

No slugs this year so that option was out.

Not going to drink it that was for sure.

Could dump it but seems like such a waste.

Hey, hey I could make another loaf of beer soap.

The last one I made was with a light beer (Yuengling Light Lager to be exact) and it was really quite nice.

I was not planning to use my soap pot because that was where all the names were being kept for the Soap Give Away. Yet, I needed to make this batch of soap; names were carefully removed and placed in my 1 lb soap mold while I worked my magic in my soap pot. *tee-hee*

So, I have the pot ready, found my scale went to use my scale and the battery just died.

You have got to be kidding me. I have used it all day to weigh items for shipping weights without an issue and now it dies, of all the luck. (this was Tuesday)

I did not feel like going out for just a battery so I could wait until Wednesday when I had a hair appointment; two birds one stone kinda thing going on.

Stopped for my battery before my appointment and was floored at the price!

Holy Cow. $6.99 for two 9V batteries. That was the cheapest way to go because a singe was $5.39. When did they go up in price?!

Yesterday was the day to make the soap!

I added a touch of silk fibers to this batch. (TY Blizzard for the silk!) I have used some bars from others that contained silk and they were quite nice. I added the silk to the lye water and mixed it until they were all dissolved.

This time the beer was a Lager from Yuengling (good to drink, too!)

Side Note: In fact, we are taking the boys on a tour of the Yuengling plant in Pottsville, PA next week. I have been there twice before (so cool) but this time we get to see the caves! I will do my best to snap some photos if we are allowed. If you get the chance to visit, go it is quite interesting.

The fragrance used was Irish Spring type from Fragrances by Design.

The soap went 1, 2, 3, it really was that easy. I added a bit of titanium dioxide to the top and added an extra ounce of caster oil (this girl loves bubbles).

The soap smells wonderful and I have to come clean to using a tiny slice this morning. It has a nice thick and creamy lather.

Ooo.. I can’t wait until this one is cured.

I think I will name it Irish Creek, after the road my parents live on.

Oh, and all the names have been added back into the cleaned out soap pot. *wink*

Long time no see....


This tiny puddle yesterday was a much welcomed sight!

We are in an extreme drought and trust me everyone is happy when it rains now!

We are behind something like 20 inches and the driest in more than 60 years.

Pretty scary stuff.

I have to say it has not rained here for quite sometime –weeks actually.

We have not had to mow our yard since, um.. well, since the third week of May.

Sure people are mowing their grass & weeds but it is like a giant dust storm as they make their passes over the yard. Not worth it in my opinion.

This weekend we will have to break out the riding tractor and mow over some spots that need cut. *hooray*

Every little bit sure helps out.

Check out SC DNR for more information about the drought.

You still have some time left....

There is a bit of time left before the midnight cut off tonight for the Soap Give Away.

Simply leave a comment (relevant of course) to anything that has been posted on my blog. I take care of the rest.

I have to let everyone out there know that I did have another entry this morning.

I am not sure what happened to it.

I thought I published it but it said I deleted it (an accident). *really embarrassed*

Perhaps I should have been paying more attention to Nate who was jibbering on to me about his Nintendo DS game and waited to check the accept/decline comment box.
Naw that would be too easy for Ms. Multitasker first thing in the morning, but I think I perhaps have learned my lesson on this one.

I emailed her right away to let her know about the mix up, then as I go back into my mailbox there is a not from Blogger stating that I posted a comment. Huh?!

I still do not see the comment, I have no clue. It is just one of those things that tend to happen to me.

This is her comment from my email (thank goodness I saved it):

quitecontrary1977 has left a new comment on your post "Soap Give Away...":

a good soap is like a fine wine...thanks for the giveaway

Posted by quitecontrary1977 to The Phizzing Tub... at July 11, 2008 1:53 AM

Good luck to everyone!



Updated: D'oh! I did fine her post, might help if I read what thread was replied upon.
I swear some days I worry about myself.


All Set – Soap Give Away…

As you can see above, the soap is all wrapped up and ready for a new home.

You still have until tomorrow (7/11/08) at midnight to leave a comment and be entered in the Soap Contest Give Away.

Click Soap Contest to read more about it.

Eeek!

So, there I was standing by our back door chatting to a friend on the phone, when I happened to look out the door for Teddy.

Now, I noticed Teddy on the top step sunning himself and then I noticed this big long black thing in the grass.

Did it just move?

What is that thing?

Is that a head sticking up?

OMG, it’s a snake.

I do not like snakes.

Not big ones, not little ones, not even in between ones - not any snake!

Never have, never will. *shudder*

I had to get Teddy in (granted it was nowhere near him) because I had no idea what kind it was or what it was going to do.

I quickly opened the door, Teddy jumped down to the patio, I scooped him up and safely deposited him on the carpeting.

I just had to have a picture, so I grabbed the camera (while still chatting on the phone), ran back outside (must be nuts) and snapped this one picture.

I have no idea where it is, but I am keeping my eyes w-i-d-e open to see if I spot it again.

I did feel a tiny bit sorry because the back end of his tail (not shown in picture) did have a cut in it. (really, what am I thinking?!)

Hopefully, it was just passing through.

Hopefully....

Rice Krispies Treat Commercial

Every time I make Rice Krispy Treats, this commercial pops into my head, it is one of my all time favorites.




Nothing Like a Rice Krispy Treat


Rice Krispy Treats are Spencer’s all time favorite treat/dessert.

He could be in the worst mood but give him a hunk square and he will become a ray of sunshine in no time. Lol…

Yesterday, after a few weeks of pestering for some we finally made them.

I wanted to snap a picture of the completed goodies but they were gone before I knew it.

All that was left to take a picture of was the pot. *go figure*

They are a great summer treat that will not make the kitchen hot.

Oh, and they are good with chocolate chips added in, or a smidge of peanut butter.

Mmmm..


* Exported from MasterCook *
Rice Krispie Treats

Recipe By :
Serving Size : 24 Preparation Time :0:00
Categories : Desserts

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
-------- ------------ --------------------------------
1/4 cup margarine
1 package marshmallows (40 large)
6 cups Rice Krispies®

  1. Melt margarine over low heat and add marshmallows, stir until metled.
  2. Remove from heat.
  3. Add Rice Krispies, stir until well coated.
  4. Press mixture into a buttered 13x9x2 pan.
  5. Cut into squares when cool.

Description:
"Quick and Easy Treat"
Yield:
"24 "
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