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.

Grilling at our House...

We had a really good laugh this morning over this comic.
This is so like my dh.
The bigger the flame the better in his book. *rolls eyes*

FoxTrot btw is one of our favorite comics.

Oh happy day!!


The past two weeks I have been salivating craving for a slice of chocolate cake with chocolate frosting.

All I have wanted was just a piece of moist chocolate cake.

I did have a couple of M&M’s, a few Hershey Kisses, a tiny piece of a Kit-Kat but that was not the slice of cake I had in mind.

Yesterday, we stopped in at Costco for a few items.

Dh spotted the mouth watering chocolate cake they offer and was ready to buy it for me.

I told him no because I would be the only one to eat it – kiddos are not very fond of chocolate cakes.

Where did they come from?

It was a very tempting offer, one that was hard to turn down but I did.

This morning dh went to the grocery store with me, walked me to the baking isle and said what kind of cake do you want.

Now placed on the spot like that it was a really tough decision because my desire for cake was just not there first thing in the morning. After spending five minutes looking at the cake mixes we opted for a Dunkin Hines Milk Chocolate mix.

So, I did whip it up this afternoon and made my own icing.

I was able to snap a picture of the cake before I placed my camera down, grabbed a knife and fork and cut myself a piece of cake.

Oh my… it is so, so, so good!

I have to say that it really hit the spot.

The icing is so nice and fluffy, not too sweet just what I was looking for to be on top of my cake.

Now if you don't mind I am going to have myself another little slice.

This is the recipe that I used – it is from Recipezaar.com.

½ cup shortening

½ cup butter

1 ½ tsp. vanilla

5 cups confectionery’s sugar

3 tbl. milk

  • Cream butter and shortening together then add in vanilla.
  • Then add in the confectionery’s sugar, keeping the mixer on medium.
  • Once all sugar is added in, mix in the milk, mix on high until light and fluffy.
  • You can cover the icing with a moist paper towel until your ready.

Walnut Grove Plantation

We opted to stay a bit closer to home yesterday and check out Walnut Grove Plantation in Roebuck, SC that was built in 1765. The house was built on land that was given to Charles Moore from King George III in 1763. The plantation was once 3,000 acres, having that much land is just mind boggling.

It was really neat to walk inside the house and see how they once lived.
The rooms were quite large for the time period not to mention that ten children grew up in the house.

The first house they built was turned into the kitchen/slave quarters. Yes, the family did have ten slaves on the property. There was a blacksmith on the property to make the items needed. We were in luck yesterday because there was a blacksmith there who showed us how they would make S hooks back during that time period. I must say I felt really sorry for the gentleman yesterday, it was so hot (about 90) and he was working with the fire. *phew*

We really enjoyed ourselves, it is always interesting to take a step back in time and get a glimpse of what life was like.

*More pictures are in my Flickr badge over there on the right. --->

Flickr Upate Tonight....

Alrighty, it’s late, I’m tired and I have a sinus headache.

Ugh…

I was able to get the pictures from Walnut Grove Plantation into a Flickr Badge tonight.

So, if you would like to check out the day with some information go on over to the side bar and click on a photo.

It was a really interesting visit and good time.

Tomorrow I will share with everyone the site.

Decisions, decisions....

This morning we are deciding on what to do.
Fair? Balloon Festival? Apple picking? Plantation Visit?
Currently, we are torn between going down towards Augusta, SC or up towards Spartanburg, SC to visit a Plantation.
I think we are going to Spartanburg (that may change at a drop of a hat).
Pictures will follow later today.

My Visual DNA

Youniverse Personality TestYouniverse Personality Test
This is a peek into who I am.
It is really cool and quite accurate with the profile I was presented.
You can check out your own dna here.

Chicken & Stuffing Crock Pot Dinner - Recipe


I wanted some sort of comfort food for dinner earlier this week and that meant stuffing.

Dh and I are the only two who eat it in our house; the boys will not touch it with a ten foot pole. How can that be?

I did not want to cook all day so it was a crock pot night.

This is a quick and simple meal that is full of comfort.

I added some mixed veggies in because I had them as leftovers in the refrigerator and thought they would make a nice addition.


* Exported from MasterCook *


Chicken & Stuffing Crock Pot Dinner


Serving Size : 6 Preparation Time :0:00
Categories : Main Meal -Crockpot

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
-------- ------------ --------------------------------
2 pounds chicken breast without skin
1 can cream of chicken 98% Fat Free Condensed Soup
1 can cream of mushroom 98% Fat Free Condensed Soup
1 can evaporated milk
1 package stuffing
1/2 cup butter -- melted
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 package mixed vegetables, frozen

  • Mix soups, milk and broth together
  • Spray lightly the inside of your crcok pot
  • Combine stuffing and melted butter
  • Place chicken in the crock pot, place stuffing mix over top, mixed veggies and then soup mixture.
  • Cook on low for 7-8 hours or medium for 3-4 hours.

Yield:
"6 "
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 351 Calories; 20g Fat (51.5% calories from fat); 31g Protein; 12g Carbohydrate; 2g Dietary Fiber; 112mg Cholesterol; 496mg Sodium. Exchanges: 1/2 Grain(Starch); 4 Lean Meat; 1 Vegetable; 0 Non-Fat Milk; 3 1/2 Fat.

NOTES :

I do not know how hot your crock pot cooks so the time may vary for you.
Please double check that the chicken is cooked all the way through before serving.






Tiny Changes...

I changed my little clock up there on the right hand side last night.

Then today I opted to go back to my Library Thing to display my books.

I liked the shelf I had up but it was getting on my nerves because I thought it was taking up so much room.

Yeah, I’m getting a tiny bit restless with my blog design.

I would like to add another column and change it just a smidge.

I dunno I may just tinker a bit with it to see what I can come up with.

There are times I just become restless with how it looks.

*sigh*

First Fall Practice....

Spencer had his first practice for the fall soccer season tonight.

He really likes his team and his coach.

They stretched, ran the field, did some drills and had a scrimmage game.

The parents chatted with each other and are pretty excited about what the season holds for the team.

Spencer was tuckered after the hour but he said it felt good to be back on the field.

Hope we have a good season and the team has fun!

Good thing...


This morning after dropping the boys off at school I need to get some gas for the mom-mobile. Off I drove to the gas station, noticed the price of $3.28 a gallon – sweet!

Pulled up to the first pump only to find that it had a red bag on the handle stating that it was out of order.

Then I went behind a guy who was trying to place cash into the credit card slot.

Um.. alright… backed up out of that lane, I could just see it taking a bit of time.

Finally, in a lane and filled up. Woo-Hoo!

Drove home and dh (who was working from home) asked if I wanted to go get a coffee and a bagel. Hello! He did not have to ask me twice. *wink*

We passed the same gas station that I bought gas at not even twenty minutes before hand and the price had gone up to $3.35!

Seven cents.

No delivery was happening.

The only thing that was different was that a hurricane is on the way.

*sigh*

Just when I thought the prices would go down a bit more, guess not now.

Side note:

I do hope that those who live in the way of this hurricane take the warnings seriously.


*photo from FreeFoto.com

Waiting until the last minute...

Four weeks ago I signed Spencer up for fall and spring soccer, which was easy enough.

His uniform will be delivered the week of the first game, no worries there.

Cleats were the only item that we needed to make sure he had for the first practice.

The day I sent in the payment I asked him to make sure to try on his old cleats. This way we would know if he could still use them or if we had to buy new ones.

Normally he is quite responsible about getting his chores/requests done promptly.

I asked him two to three times per week over the past four weeks.

The answer was always the same, “Nope, not yet.”

Ugh…

Yesterday I received a call from his new coach telling me that this Thursday (tomorrow) would be the first practice.

Alrighty…

I informed him last night that his first practice was Thursday.

I asked him if he tried on his old cleats yet (I knew he had not), his reply was, “I am right now.”

He finds the old pair, opens them up and fights tries to fit his foot inside.

He did not get very far and states, “I need a new pair.”

Looks like we have to go shopping and hope we find a pair.

This is one job I do not like to do with him. lol..

*sigh*

This afternoon I took him shopping for a new pair of cleats and we were able to find a pair within ten minutes.

Pretty good for him!

He is not a shoe shopper at all. There is always something just not right with the shoe/cleat he tries on.

Today, all the stars must have been aligned right for him.

We went in, found two types, tried them on and he picked the one that felt better.

Oh, thank you!

Now, if I can get him next time to try them on before the day he needs them.

Hooray!!

Do you see it on the picture?

That lovely green?!

Rain!!

Finally, we have some decent rain from Fay.

Thank you, thank you, and thank you.

You have no idea how dry it is here. (Well, perhaps if you live in my area you do)

It is like one big giant tinder box out there, it is so, so dry.

We are now in an extreme drought by our state standards and exceptional by the U.S. Government standards.

The county I live in was deemed by (our) Governor Sanford a few weeks ago as the most drought stricken region in the state. :-(

The Upstate region has only had something like 21 inches of rain this whole year which is way below average. Hopefully, we can see something like 1- 3 inches, though some weather forecasts have stated a bit more. In the end, we will take whatever we get.

Nate said that when it finally started to rain yesterday all he heard were cheers coming from the various classrooms.

Fingers are crossed that with fall around the corner we will be able to pick up some more rain.

Today though, I will enjoy the sound of the rain drops falling it is quite refreshing.

Curly Wurly Candy Bar - Review


This happens to rank up there with my all time favorite candy bars. (A girl can have a few favorites.)

They remind me of the old M&M/Mars Marathon candy bar from the 70’s.

(shh...no comment on my age.)

The candy bar is made by Cadbury and is from the UK so when I stumble across them I normally pick up a few.

It is simple but oh so good.

*yummy**yummy*

So what is a Curly Wurly?

A flat piece of lattice style caramel that is dipped into milk chocolate, it does not get much simpler that that I don’t believe.

The milk chocolate is not overly sweet but nice and creamy.

The bar is chewy and simply quite tasty!

You can purchase them from a few online stores if you are not able to find some locally.

Trust me you are in for a treat.

CocoaPink Product Review #2

Right before we left CocoaPink was having a great sale that just called my name. *blush*
I skipped over to the site and happily placed items into my shopping cart, paid and was thrilled that I would be receiving another order.

Then it hit me.

Crud!

We would be away when it arrived, sure I ordered the ice packs but that was not going to be enough to keep the face lotion. *grr!*

I quickly emailed them and asked for my odd request that my order not be sent out until a certain date this would hopefully allow my products to be safe when I arrived home. I was not guaranteed they could do it but you know what? They did!! My items arrived Saturday the day we were driving home and they were still cool on Monday when I picked them up.

Kudos to Coca Pink!!

My order contained:

  • Free Trial Size of Dermabrasion Face Wash – Lemon Sugar
  • I’m 29 Lotion
  • Coco Mango Hand & Body Lotiony –Coconut Mango
  • Scrub Sundae Bar – London Lemon on bottom w/ Blush on top

Again, I am totally blown away by my products.

I have used the face wash (as you can tell) and it leaves my skin so clean and soft. I have noticed such a difference in my complexion using this product once a week and then teaming it with the lotions. WOW! You only need a little bit on your face; the product does not leave your skin rough at all. Just smooth and radiant.

The lotion is quite thick as it states on the site. The lotion does not take long to soak into your skin and is not overly tacky (something I really dislike). I will save this for in later in the winter when my legs begin to really dry out. Oh and the fragrance, wonderful.

Last up for me to try was the scrub. It was so cute! There was a little fake cherry on top and some sprinkles just like the real thing! You were able to order your scrub as a scoop in various fragrances – what a cool idea. There was a whipped item on top (kinda like a thick lotion?), not sure what it is but it is quite nice on your skin. The scrub is emulsified, not overly scratchy, spreads evenly and is such a treat for your skin. No greasiness, nicely moisturized skin and a light fragrance that lingers after you use the product. I feel quite pampered when I use this product.

Seriously, CocoaPink has become one of my favorite bath and body sites that I go back to time and again. Your skin will be in for a wonderful treat when you try the products.


(review of my first order)

Soda Pop Shoppe Jelly Beans - Review

I really enjoy jelly beans, especially the bubble gum Jelly Belly beans. OMG!

Really, now who doesn’t?

While away this summer we stumbled upon bags of Soda Pop Shoppe Jelly Beans by Jelly Belly and of course I had to buy them to try because I have never seen them before.

What were the flavors?

  • Dr. Pepper
  • 7-Up
  • A&W Root Beer
  • Orange Crush
  • Crush Grape
  • A&W Cream Soda

I have had Dr. Pepper Jelly Bellies before and they are great, they really do taste just like Dr. Pepper. Still enjoyed eating them ever though I had to fight Spencer for them.

A&W Root Beer was dead on, they were really good!

Grape & Orange Crush both had very good flavors and they did remind me of the soda.

7-Up.. Not too sure about this one. You could taste a bit of bubble and lime, they were ok.

A&W Cream Soda- These were not easy for me to try because I am not a fan of vanilla flavored candy or drinks. I did try one but for me it was too creamy and had a bit much of vanilla flavor for me. Dh really liked them and mentioned that they did taste like the soda. So, I will take his word because they really were not my deal.

My 3.5oz bag had a great mix of the jelly beans not too many of any one.

Would I buy them again?

You betcha!

Ah.....

What a treat it was today to have the windows opened!

We had a refreshing breeze today that allowed us to turn off the ac, open the windows and enjoy the fresh air.

I love and cherish the days during the summer when we can do this for they are few and far between.

Unfortunately, once the sun went down our breeze went away.

So we had to go around and close up the house and turn on the ac.

Why?

Well, it is 76 degrees out there at 9:45 pm, 57% humidity and the temp inside is creeping up to the uncomfortable level.

I am looking forward to about five weeks from now when we can turn off the ac for the season (woo-hoo) and simply enjoy the cool air.

To me there is nothing like a cool refreshing breeze.

Chick-n-Strips Give Away @ Chick-fil-A

mmmm.... Chick-fil-A...

Wear any football team logo on from 10:30 am until close on September 1 and receive a free 3- count New Chick N Strips! That means you can wear a hat, t-shirt, socks, jersey, helmet (if you have one), whatever - any football team and you will be treated to some tasty food!

I have my Penn State shirt (Go Lions!) all lined up and ready to go!

You can also watch Clemson vs. Alabama in the Chick-fil-A College Kickoff game on August 30th @ 8 pm. The game will be nationally televised on ABC. (I know that it will be really quiet around here that night while all eyes will be watching Clemson.)








FAQ about the give away.

National Eat A Peach Day...


Go grab yourself a peach and enjoy!
Better yet, buy a bunch and create a yummy cobbler (1 or 2 ) or muffins.

Peach facts:

  • Peaches were first cultivated in China.
  • Place unripe peaches in a brown bag for a few days to ripen. (Yes, it really does work.)
  • Ripe peaches can be stored in the refrigerator for 3-5 days.
  • High in Vitamins A & C.
Read more peach facts here.


Picture courtesy of FreeFoto.

We did it...

The first week back to school is now over and we made it!
We did not have any mishaps, we have had Math homework already, no oversleeping and both are quite happy with their teachers.
*pinches self*
Are they really my kids?
4 days down only 176 more to go!
Let’s see where we are in three months. Lol…

Sleep?

The last few nights I have had difficulty sleeping due to my cold. I mean any other night I am normally in a pseudo sleep, not really a deep sleep and not really awake.

Yeah, I know a barrel full of fun.
I can’t really recall the last time I was in a true deep sleep.
Last on summer vacation?!

Anywho..

Last night was the cake topper.

12 am - woke up coughing. Fine, fine able to quell that just by adjusting my head in bed.

2 am.. broke out into a sweat and a horrid sinus headache. *ugh*
I go trudging half asleep into the kitchen and find some head medicine. Poured some water, took medicine and decided to plug in cell phone to charge while I was there. *don't ask*

Right, get back into bed fluff my pillow and find the cool side.
Lay there for thirty minutes w-i-d-e awake. *sigh*

Just as I am finally beginning to doze back into some sort of sleep, I start coughing again. This time I can't make it stop on my own.

Hello.. 3am.

Fine, off to the bathroom I go to locate a cough drop.

I had to turn on the flood lights lights because I can’t see in the closet for them and I become dazed by the light.

Oh joy…

Ah.. there are the natural cough drops.

Pop it in, turn off the lights and plop my head back down to try to get some sleep rest.

Dh is sound asleep, and all I can think of is, “Why is that not me?”

4:25 am – opened my eyes to see the time because I thought I had over slept, nope not the case. Close eyes, go back to slumber land.

5:45 am alarm goes off – hit alarm go back to sleep.

6:10 am alarm goes off again, and this time I have to get going there are lunches to get around and breakfasts to be made.

Argh!

Anyone have any toothpicks?


This song always floats through my head when I have these wonderful sleepless nights. Just so fitting. (Who Needs Sleep? - Barenaked Ladies)

What Olympic Sport Are You?

With the Olympics currently going on, I thought that this would be a fun little quiz for everyone best of all there is not much thinking involved.
I am not very athletic to say the least but I thought it would be interesting to see what sport I would represent me.

As you can see I am swimming.
I have to admit that the description for the sport does seem to fit who I am.
Huh.. go figure.






You Are Swimming



You are an interesting set of contradictions.

You are peaceful yet competitive. Graceful yet strong.

You exist in your own private universe.

Chicken Divan Crock-Pot Recipe

I am really beginning to love crock-pot cooking.

You can put everything in it, let it go all day and at dinner time you have a fully cooked wonderful meal. No standing over the stove all day, pondering what to make at the last minute, rushing to get it cooked in time before practices, or you name it. I stopped using ours over the summer but now that we are back in school, I have pulled it and using it again.

This is an easy tasty meal that the whole family will enjoy.




* Exported from MasterCook *

Chicken Divan Crockpot


Serving Size : 4 Preparation Time :0:00
Categories : Main Meal -Crockpot

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
-------- ------------ --------------------------------
4 pieces chicken boneless - breasts
1 3/4 cups water
1 package broccoli florets -- frozen - 10 oz bag
1 can fat free cream of chicken soup
1 cup rice
1/2 cup grated Cheddar cheese
1 cup mayonnaise, reduced fat -- *see Note
1/4 cup lemon juice

  1. Spray inside of crock pot with Pam.
  2. Add chicken, rice, soup, mayo, water, lemon juice and broccoli.
  3. Cook on Med. Heat for 3 - 4 hours.
  4. Stir occasionally.
  5. Sprinkle with cheese (while still in crockpot) cover, let cheese melt, and serve.

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

Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 491 Calories; 8g Fat (15.3% calories from fat); 61g Protein; 39g Carbohydrate; 1g Dietary Fiber; 152mg Cholesterol; 251mg Sodium. Exchanges: 2 1/2 Grain(Starch); 8 Lean Meat; 0 Vegetable; 0 Fruit; 1/2 Fat.

Serving Ideas : Great with a side salad .

NOTES :

  • I used reduced fat mayo but you can use regular mayo if you would like. Nutritional information will change if you sub in real mayo.
  • Can cook it on a slower temperature for a longer period of time.
  • If needed, add more water to make sure rice is fully cooked. I have found that the amount of water stated is perfect.
  • I use long grain white rice not instant rice.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste.

At-The-Counter Coffee Cake - Recipe


Yeah, I have been on a baking kick lately.

I seem to bake more when I am a bit blue or stressed.

Guess it would appear I have been both.

I whipped this goodie up on Monday and it was tasty.

Now, I should have paid more attention to the topping directions. *oops!*

I added the melted butter to the cinnamon sugar mix, it still came out and tasted good but I think it would have been much better done the proper way.

Go ahead and treat yourself, family or surprise your co-workers with a tasty treat.


* Exported from MasterCook *

At-The-Counter Coffee Cake

Recipe By :Elizabeth Mckeon & Linda Everett
Serving Size : 6
Categories : Breakfast

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
-------- ------------ --------------------------------
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup milk, skim
1 egg -- beaten
2 tablespoons butter -- melted
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon allspice
1/2 cup walnuts -- chopped
1/4 cup butter -- melted

  1. In a mixing bowl sift 1 cup of flour with 1/2 cup of sugar, the salt, 1/2 tsp. of cinnamon and the baking powder.
  2. In a seperate bowl blend together the milk, egg and 2 tablespoons of melted butter.
  3. Add the milk mixture ot the flour mixture.
  4. Blend just until moist. *Do Not Over Mix*
  5. Spread the batter into an 8 inch round pan.
  6. In a small bowl blend togehter the remaining sugar, flour, cinnamon and allspice.
  7. Add the chopped walnuts.
  8. Blend thoroughly.
  9. Spread evenly over the top of the batter.
  10. Drizzle with the remaining melted butter.
  11. Bake at 400 for 20 - 25 minutes.

Description:
"wonderful breakfast treat"
Source:
"Blue Plate Special- The American Diner Cookbook"
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 389 Calories; 19g Fat (41.9% calories from fat); 7g Protein; 51g Carbohydrate; 2g Dietary Fiber; 67mg Cholesterol; 351mg Sodium. Exchanges: 1 1/2 Grain(Starch); 1/2 Lean Meat; 0 Non-Fat Milk; 3 1/2 Fat; 2 Other Carbohydrates.

NOTES :

  • Wonderful coffee cake, not super sweet.
  • I did not add the nuts into mine due to not having them on hand.






Cereal ID Quiz Time


I do not normally eat cereal any more in the morning for breakfast but today I was going to live on the edge. (It’s a milk issue for me)

I poured myself the last of the Fruit Loops add some milk and mm… fruit loops.

Now I normally eat them dry for a quick snack when I am looking for something sweet to eat.

A great low calorie snack and satisfies my cravings.

I grew up eating all sorts of cereal; my mom would allow those wonderful sugary types in the house. (thanks mom!)

My all time favorite cereal is Life.

I love cereal, just too bad I can’t enjoy it as much as I used too. *pout*

Anywho…I stumbled across this great cereal quiz a few weeks back, just never knew when to post it. Looks like today is the lucky day. *wink*

So you think you know your cereal?

Take the Breakfast Cereal ID Quiz and see how well you do.

My score: 18/20 – pretty good if I say so myself.

Let me know your scores.

Check out some online Music..

I love to listen to music as I write my blog postings. I just seem to be able to write much faster and not really think too much.

Sometimes I will listen to my music in my iTunes but honestly, I love to listen to John in the Morning on KEXP.ORG from Seattle.

They play great music, I have discovered some great bands (sort of fell out of touch for a bit) and can simply just ease myself into the day.

Side note: Seattle is my favorite city to go and visit. Full of energy, music, arts, good food and of course the beautiful scenery.

Go and check out the tunes that are played, you just might find some new tunes to enjoy!

Paul Oakenfold Starry Eyed

I downloaded this song today for Spencer.

I thought I would surprise him with it on his Ipod when I pick him up later.

He has been going around singing the refrain since he heard it on the Coca-Cola commercial last week.

I think he will be a happy little camper.

90 Minute Cinnamon Rolls - Recipe


The boys are on a cinnamon bun roll lately and I wanted to make something for them to have for breakfast that was special.

This recipe I copied from some magazine a few years ago but never tried it out.

I opted to make them the night before to save a bit of time; you never know how crazy that first morning of school can be.

They were really easy to make and I have to say really, really yummy!

They are not heavy nor are they overly sweet as some cinnamon buns tend to be.

The boys did not eat them this morning.

Nate said, “They taste that much sweeter when you get home after a rough day at school and I can enjoy them a lot more.”

Spence said, “Don’t want to eat too much the first day back and all.”

Guess I will get their opinions once they try them.

They really do not need any sugar drizzled over top they create their own syrup.

mmm… so good!


* Exported from MasterCook *

90 Minute Cinnamon Rolls


Serving Size : 12 Preparation Time :0:00
Categories : Breakfast

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
-------- ------------ --------------------------------
3 1/4 cups flour -- divided
1 envelope yeast -- **Quick Rise
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup water
1 cup butter
1 egg
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup butter -- softened

  1. Set aside 1 cup all purpose flour from total amount.
  2. Mix remaining flour, yeast, sugar, salt together in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Heat milk, water and 1/4 cup butter until hot to the tocuh.
  4. Stir hot liquid into dry ingredients.
  5. Mix in egg.
  6. Mix in enough reserve flour to make a soft dough, so that it will not stick to the sides of bowl.
  7. Turn out onto floured surface and knead for 5 minutes.
  8. Roll dough into a 12 x 9 inch rectangel.
  9. Spread with the cinnamon mixure. ( Mix together cinnamon, brown sugar, and butter)
  10. Roll up from long side, jelly roll style, pinch to seal the seem.
  11. Cut into 12 equal slices.
  12. Place cut side up in large greased muffin tines.
  13. Place on baking sheet over a shallow pan filled 1/2 with boiling water.
  14. Let rise 20 minutes.
  15. Remove water and bake @ 375 for 20-25 minutes.

Yield:
"12 "
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 430 Calories; 24g Fat (50.2% calories from fat); 5g Protein; 49g Carbohydrate; 1g Dietary Fiber; 82mg Cholesterol; 345mg Sodium. Exchanges: 1 1/2 Grain(Starch); 0 Lean Meat; 0 Non-Fat Milk; 4 1/2 Fat; 1 1/2 Other Carbohydrates.

Serving Ideas :

  • Great with a glass of milk.
  • Perhaps a scoop of ice cream?!

NOTES :

  • Can add in 1/2 cup of raisins if you would like.
  • I used butter not margarine as the original recipe stated.
  • I did not place my rolls seam side up, I just popped them in the pan. They still came out great!
  • I also rolled my dough out a bit more I more like 16 x 12 (?) I was able to make 18 rolls!






And it's back...


to school.

We have made it through the first morning!
I was the first up at 6:00 then Spencer rolled out at 6:30 and my Mr. Up Early Nate had to be woken up at 6:45. lol…

They were a bit nervous about the whole day.
Me, well, I kept my feeling in check in front of them.
However, now that I am home I am just a pool of tears.
The house is just too quiet.
Sure some days they drove me up the walls, they are really good kids, I really enjoy watch them grow up and spending my time with them.

They grow so very fast, it really does tear at the ‘ol heart strings.

Good Luck Boys!

2007 Photo


Big Flash Back… gosh, have they grown. *sniffle*

2004 - K5 (Spencer) & 3rd grade (Nate)



'Twas the night before...

You thought about the story didn’t you?

Well, in our house it is the night before school starts.

You can just feel all the nerves and anxiety bubbling from my children.

Yep, tomorrow the boys will be back to the grind for another year.

(Fingers & toes crossed for a good year.)

We ran a few quick errands otherwise I left them to do anything they wanted.

They selected playing a pc game against each other and then their Nintendo DS games.

I however went and got the mom mobile (that is what I call my car) ready for service.

I steam cleaned out the spills and blobs from the summer,

Washed down the windows and stuck two cotton balls that had been dipped in fragrance oil inside so it will smell nice and fresh.

Backpacks are ready to be put to use.

Sneakers have been broken in.

Lunch boxes are half full – just need to make the sandwiches in the am.

Cinnamon buns have been made for breakfast. (new recipe up tomorrow)

Alarm clocks are all set - wonder who will get up on time?

Kids in bed by 9 pm and here it is 9:57 pm and they are still up rolling around.

Oh, it will be a long day for them tomorrow.

Rats, looks like summer vacation is really over for us. *sigh*

I'll return...

I promise I will be back tomorrow with a few posts.

It's just cold is really kicking me in the rump.

I have spent majority of the day sleeping.

Which if you know me personally, that is not something I would normally do.

Still have my fever, jaw is killing me, my body aches and I am so stuffed up.

;-(

Just wanted to let everyone know that you are not being ignored.

Behave and be well.

I am off to bed.

Browser History to estimate your gender...

While reading Lady Banana's blog today I thought it was really interesting that your browser could estimate your gender.

Well, I simply had to give it a whirl.

I pressed the button and waited, waited, waited and waited a bit more.

You know I was beginning to get a bit antsy.

Finally, my results were in and....

Likelihood of you being FEMALE is 100%
Likelihood of you being MALE is 0%

*skippy* it turns out that it was absolutely correct.


Come on, give it a try and let me know your results.

Estimate Your Browser Gender

It never fails...


Every time I enter Spencer’s school the next day I end up coming down with some sort of crud. Really, it never fails.

We met his teachers on Thursday night; he has three this year in Fourth Grade. :-0

We were in the school for about an hour and then did our normal night time routine.

Friday, I woke up with a few sniffles and a scratchy throat but it did not seem to stick around all day.

Today however, I have been blowing my nose all day long, my throat is starting to really bug me, and I have a low grade fever.

*ugh*

The school year has yet to start – that happens on Tuesday.

Not the way I want to start off the school year to say the least.

Sure hope that I can shake this stuff soon.

*crosses fingers* wanders off to find a box of tissues.

Oatmeal Cookies – Recipe


*raises hand* and states," I have been converted."

You see I never liked oatmeal cookies because I am not a fan of raisins. *shiver*

I was one of those children who would trade her box of raisins at lunch for something/anything else from her friends.

*shh, don't tell my mom."

Now dh he loves oatmeal raisin cookies and over the past two years I have begun to really like them. (gasp, does this mean I am getting old?!)

They are still not my number one cookie but I do enjoy them every so often with a nice cold glass of milk.

I made some on Wednesday night and *shuffles foot* have eaten quite a few of them.

This recipe seems to be the one that dh really likes.

Make sure you have a great big glass of milk and enjoy!


* Exported from MasterCook *

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Serving Size : 42
Categories : Cookies

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
-------- ------------ --------------------------------
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 pound unsalted butter -- softened
1 1/2 cups light brown sugar -- packed
1/4 cup sugar
2 large eggs
2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup raisins
3 1/2 cups oats, rolled (raw)

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Place first six ingredients into bowl and whisk togethter.
  • Mix next five ingredients on medium speed in a large mixing bow.
  • Slowly add in the flour/spice mixutre into butter and mix well. This mixture should be smooth.
  • Then stir in the remaining ingredients.
  • Drop my large tablespoons onto greased cookie sheets. *can use parchment or a silicone sheet and will not need the grease.
  • Bake until lightly brown about 12 minutes, remove and let cool for 2 minutes for cookies to "set" then move to cooling rack.

Source:
"Joy of Cooking"
Yield:
"3 1/2 dozen"
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 120 Calories; 5g Fat (37.7% calories from fat); 2g Protein; 17g Carbohydrate; 1g Dietary Fiber; 22mg Cholesterol; 63mg Sodium. Exchanges: 1/2 Grain(Starch); 0 Lean Meat; 0 Fruit; 1 Fat; 1/2 Other Carbohydrates.

NOTES : Wonderful with a nice cold glass of milk.

Can add 1/2 cup chopped walnuts, this will change the nutritional value.

Free McDonald's Southern Style Chicken Biscuit -


McDonald's is giving away again either a Southern Style Chicken Biscuit or Sandwich, the choice is yours.

All you need to by is a medium or large beverage and present your color printed coupon.

Buy the drink in the morning for a biscuit or during lunch/dinner hours for the sandwich.

McDonald’s Coupon for a FREE Southern Style Chicken Biscuit or Sandwich & read more about the deal.

Portion of the Fine Print:

Exp. 9/1/08

You only one chance to print.

Offer Good at only those participating McDonald’s restaurants.

Item must be printed from a color printer; black and white coupons will not be accepted.

Making Lip Balm


I decided to finally make some lip balm late last week.
I have had the supplies since oh- ah, January. *blush*My lips beginning to feel a bit dry from the summer heat, and was time to do something about it. Sure I enjoy treating myself to lip balm made by others but I also like to make my own.

I purchased some other oils earlier this year to add into my lip balm so I could tinker with a new recipe for myself. Sure, I have a good recipe that I use but I wanted to try and create something slightly new!

Now if you use Shea Butter, Kokum Butter, Mango Butter you need to make sure to temper your oils, if not you run the risk of it becoming grainy on you. There is nothing worse than grainy lip balm. *eew* I have read that some have this issue with Cocoa Butter but to this day I have never had an issue. *knocks on wood*

I should have a double boiler to melt the ingredients but I have to admit that I have always just dunked a Pyrex measuring cup into the boiling water (holding it up off the bottom of the pan). If you do try to create your own lip balm please, oh please, DO NOT microwave items together. It is not safe, I have heard of too many horror stories.

My lip tubes came from Lip Balm Tubes– I had actually won them on a forum that I am a member on, it was a sampler and perfect for me to tinker with balms again.
The lip balm oil came from Southern Soapers, pink lemonade and whoa! it really is just like the real thing. *sweet* Make sure you know the amount to add - those that I have from this site are to be used at no more than 1%. I have others that state up to 3%, so make sure you watch. I do not use sweetener in my balms, again that is a personal choice. I have used presweetened flavoroils in the past and they were a a nice hit with the younger crowd. I used those from Bittercreek and peach from The Chemistry Store.

There is no doubt about it, making lip balm is a bit messy. I normally use wax paper to cover up a portion of my counter but I was out so aluminum foil filled in this time. You can see how I did not pour them nice and clean (I did try) but cleaned you would never know. *wink*

All ingredients out and ready to begin. Notice the weight, I tare that out and then begin to add the ingredients.

All ingredients added and beginning to melt.


Everything melted and now ready to add in the flavor oil.


All poured - messy. *oops*


Here is a simple recipe you can try – this was the first one I used.

1 part Beeswax
1/2 part Sweet Almond Oil
1/2 part Cocoa Butter
1/2 part Shea Butter
Melt all together, add in flavor oil, then pour into containers.

** add flavor oil to correct percentage.**

A part can be a tablespoon, teaspoon, cup. Just know that the larger the amount used, the more lip balm you are creating.

You can chance the amounts or use other oils. Go ahead and have fun with it!

If you do not have all the oils and butters or you would rather use something premade, you can purchase balm base already made.You can check out the base from Bittercreek.
I used this and was quite happy for many years.

Why?

I simply did not have all the items on hand at any one time (when in business) because I only worked with melt & pour soap.

It is still a tiny bit too heavy for my preference so I may end up melting it down and adding in a bit more coconut oil and caster. I dunno.. it is nice as it is but… *I* would like it just a bit lighter. We shall see what happens.

Potato Au Gratin - Recipe

I wanted something different for dinner last night.

The boys have never been big with eating a potato – ever.

Slowly I have been able to change this over the past year. *pats her back*

It hit me that the boys had never had potatoes au gratin. *the horror!*

I simply never made them because they would not eat anything but french fries. *rolls eyes*

Yesterday I wanted some comfort food and I wanted something made with potatoes.

I figured why not go out on a limb and give it a try.

Spencer loved them, Nate (saw them bubbling when they were taken out of the oven) was totally turned off by them.

Me, oh yeah, they hit the spot.

Granted they are not diet friendly by any means but if you want some comfort food they certainly fit the bill.

This is the recipe my mom used and it always turns out perfect.



* Exported from MasterCook *

Potato Au Gratin

Recipe By : mom
Serving Size : 6
Categories : Side Dishes

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
-------- ------------ --------------------------------
6 medium potatoes
1/4 cup butter
1 medium onion -- chopped * optional
1 tablespoon flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 cups milk, skim
2 cups cheddar cheese -- shredded

  • Heat oven to 375ºF.
  • Wash, peel and cut into thin slices to measure about 4 cups.
  • Melt butter in 2-quart saucepan over medium heat. Cook onion in butter, stir occasionally, until tender. Stir in flour, salt and pepper. Cook, stirring constantly, until bubbly; remove from heat.
  • Stir in milk and 1 1/2 cups of the cheese. Boil, stirring constantly for 1 minute.
  • Place potatoes in a greased 1 1/2-quart casserole, then pour cheese sauce over potatoes.
  • Bake uncovered 1 hour. Mix remaining cheese and the bread crumbs; sprinkle over potatoes. Sprinkle with paprika. Bake uncovered 15 to 20 minutes longer or until top is brown and bubbly.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 428 Calories; 21g Fat (43.3% calories from fat); 17g Protein; 44g Carbohydrate; 3g Dietary Fiber; 62mg Cholesterol; 718mg Sodium. Exchanges: 2 1/2 Grain(Starch); 1 1/2 Lean Meat; 1/2 Vegetable; 1/2 Non-Fat Milk; 3 Fat.

NOTES : * You can leave the skin on if you would like.

Sharing Flowers..




I was going through more of the pictures from our vacation and stumbled across some flower photos.


I thought I would share a smile with everyone.







The mechanic has spoken…

We found out late yesterday what is up with the car.

Not the best news we wanted to hear.

Engine

Yup, we need to have a new engine.

*sigh*

Good news is that it will be done by Friday.

Wondering what is up with the car?

Read here.

Burns me up....

Candles that do not burn properly really get under my skin. Grrr!

I love to burn candles/tarts/melts/votives - you name it.

Yes, I have my favorite sites to purchase from but I am always looking for new candles to give a try.

I have purchased candles from some online stores (over the past few months) but have been really disappointed with them. *sigh*

The candles smelled wonderful and I could not wait to use them.

The candles would burn straight down the middle (this is called tunneling).

I made sure that the wicks were trimmed properly, no drafts, and anything else I could think of that might affect the burn.

I wanted to enjoy the candles and the fruity summer fragrances I had selected but instead I was left with half burned candles and disappointment. *rats*

So, I will be back out there off and on looking for some new sites to try.

Sure hope that I will have better luck than what I have been.

Anyone have any recommendations?!

Grumpy Girl Candle & Bath Co. - Review

I am a H-U-G-E Grumpy Girl fan, this is one of my all time favorite online stores.

The web site is fun and the names of the products are so perfect.

So on my shopping spree before we left for vacation, GG had a free shipping sale.

Now, honestly, how could I have resisted?

Answer: I couldn’t.

My heels were in some dire need of pampering and her Grumpy Buttah is the best!

I have used many others, and they just did not measure up.

An order was placed and I could not wait until we arrived back home for my goodies.

Now what did I order?

Cuppy Cake – Pink Hissy Fit

Grapefruit Pucker lip crack

Stick O’Buttah in Strawberry Moonshine

Buttah – Cream Sugah Scrub Sampler – fruity & fabulous

Plus, I received a trial size of a soap and scrub.

When my items arrived, I was one happy camper!

My goodies were all packed in matching tissue paper to GG’s dots on her products.

The stick o’buttah was the first on to be used; really my heels were in bad shape.
Kokum butter (it's in her buttah) is absolutely wonderful for the skin and I always look for it in product for my feet. My feet are now happy campers using her products. TY!


The lip crack is light on the lips (I don’t like heavy balm) and makes them feel so nice and soft. Sure I make my own balm but I love treat myself to hers due to all the wonderful oils and butters she puts in. These are such a wonderful treat.

I used my cuppy cake this past weekend because I really needed some extra pampering. The cuppy cake was wonderful; my skin was left nice and smooth.

I have not used my scrubs yet but knowing the quality of products, I am in for a treat.

My favorite salt bar comes from her; I have used many of her spectacular soaps and am always wowed by them. I can also say that I have burned her candles and they rock!

Great bath & body treats await you from Grumpy Girl Candle & Bath Co. You can purchase items from two ways either from her website or on etsy. Your skin will love the extra attention it will receive from her products.

** Sorry GG for the shabby large photo of your products.

Caramel Apple Hershey Kisses - Review

I purchased a bag during our visit to Hershey’s Chocolate World.

I love eating caramel apples in the fall, so it just seemed natural to pick up a bag.

Last week I decided to give them a try.

OMG!

Why did I wait so long?


I should have bought two bags a case of them, they are that good.


A wonderful creamy caramel mixed with a great apple flavor.

These little kisses taste just like the real thing.

Oh, they are so good.

I am trying to eat no more than four a day (trying to make them last) but let me tell you it is really hard.

The Carmel Apple Hershey Kisses are a limited edition, so if/when you find them stock up!

I am on the lookout for them here but have placed a request in to my parents (they live pretty close) to pick up a few bags for me. *blush*


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