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.

Sweet Soap Success

The end result from yesterday's soaping - success!! I have to say it smells so good - Midnight Pomegranate type.




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Getting Ready....

Yup, I'm getting ready to soap today it has been quite a long time. Can you believe it?



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Cascade Ice...


Cascade Ice...
A wonderful discovery that I have been enjoying for the past few months.
I thought I would finally let you in on this really, really delicious sparkling water.
Pink Grapefruit is my favorite flavors but really all of the flavors are a great drink.
DH finally tried one ( Raspberry Black Current) and he asked me why I hadn't told 
him about them earlier. 
Pfft... now I have to share them. *rats*
Check out their website Cascade Ice and find out where you can get some.
Trust me - this will fast become a favorite of yours.


Fast trip...

I had a fast trip back to PA over the past weekend to deposit two boys with their grandparents for a few weeks.
They are with my in-laws first for 2 wks and then with my parents for about 2 1/2 weeks.
The trip this past time was a killer... 10 hrs.. one way... two kids (12 &14), myself and a dog.
Normally I do not mind the trip but this last one ... tops the cake.
Traffic was insane both times.
Cars speeding 75+ mph to get around the guy on the side of you because they see a tiny opening, stopped traffic due to blasting zones (er, it is the summer now people - stopping during the heat of the day on a major interstate not a smart move). People walking hand in hand down the side of the interstate-no broken down car in sight.
Seriously it was nuts out there.
Today is my first day home all by myself.
I should be doing a jig, living it up but honestly, it is way too quiet.
Maybe the jig will be danced in a few days but really it is odd around here.
 Now to get tinkering with some white glycerin soap base and perhaps whip up a loaf or two of cold process soap.
:-)

Where's the Jelly...

We treated ourselves with doughnuts this AM. When Spence took a bite out of the jelly one his response was,"where's the jelly?"
Yeah, it's kind lacking to say the least.


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Fingers Crossed

Fingers are crossed that my camera can be fixed.
I had not used it for about two months and then when I needed it to snap pictures for a booster club 
picnic it started to act up.
The camera would enter dust reduction mode (automatic on this camera) and not exit.
Then it would not allow me to turn it on. 
*heavy sigh*
I kept hoping that it would snap out of it but no go.
So, yesterday I wrapped it up and off it went to get checked out.
I love my Olympus e330 and hoping that they can fix it with out it costing an arm and leg. 

Peach Blueberry Cobbler...


 I found myself with fresh SC peaches and NC blueberries two weeks ago and what is a girl to do?!
Make cobbler of course!
The cookbook below is the one that I pulled the recipe from (these are awesome cookbooks) it is a wonderful set to own if you ever get the chance.
DH was quick to peel and cut up the peaches.  
I whipped the rest of the items together, popped them into the baking dish and 30 minutes later.
Cobbler!

This is a wonderful turn to book for all sorts of ideas.       

Mmmm....peaches, blueberries and butter all waiting to be topped off.


Topped off and ready for the oven.
 This was a tasty treat but I have to admit I would change a few things about the recipe.
I would not use the shortening- normally I would not but wanted to stay true to the recipe.
We did not like the texture of the crust so in my words BUTTER!
I would also increase the fruit to about 4 1/2 cup to almost 5 just did not seem to be enough fruit.
By adding in more fruit you would have to adjust the lemon juice, butter, and spices a tiny bit.
This one is a keeper just with those slight adjustments. :)
                     

* Exported from MasterCook *

                         Peach Blueberry Cobbler


Serving Size  : 8  
Categories : Dessert

  Amount  Measure       Ingredient -- Preparation Method
--------  ------------  --------------------------------
  2           cups  all-purpose flour -- sifted
  2            teaspoons  baking powder
 1/2         teaspoon  salt
 1/4           cup  sugar
 1/4          cup  shortening -- vegetable
 3/4          cup  milk
  3 1/2      cups  sliced peaches -- see note
  1            tablespoon  fresh lemon juice
 1/2          teaspoon  ground cinnamon
  1            teaspoon  butter
  1            cup  light cream -- flavor with nutmeg to taste - see note
2/3           cup  blueberries

  1. Sift flour into bowl with baking powder, salt, and 1 tablespoon sugar.
  2. With a pasty blender cut in shortening until fine.
  3. Add milk to make a soft dough.
  4. Combine peaches, blueberries, lemon juice, 2 tablespoon sugar, cinnamon and butter in casserole.
  5. Pat out shortcake dough to fit top.
  6. Bake in preheated hot oven (450 degrees) for 10 minute.
  7. Reduce heat to moderate (350 degrees) and bake for 25 minutes longer or until crust is golden brown.
  8. Serve warm with cream flavored with nutmeg.
Source:
  "Woman's Day Encyclopedia of Cookery Vol. 8"
Copyright:
  "1966"
Yield:
  "8 "
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NOTES : 
* Add in more fruit at least 4 1/2 cups

* Use butter not shortening

*I opted not to use the cream or nutmeg - whipped cream is lovely though. :)


Hagood Mill....


 We decided to take my in-laws up to visit while they were here over Memorial Day weekend to the Hagood Mill (on the National Historic Places Registry) in Pickens, SC.
The mill itself dates back to 1845 and they still use it to make products the second Saturday of each month. 
The water wheel was not turning since it was not a working weekend but it was still a beautiful sight to see. There is a cotton gin and blacksmith shop on the grounds. They also have two cabins on the grounds that show what it was like to live back then. There are activities that happen during different times of the year.

Entrance to the mill grounds - you can see some old grinding stones that line the way.
This is the first millstone in a line of stones as you enter the grounds.
Beautiful side view of the water wheel. Above you can see the flume that supplies the water.

The stream that flows right along the mill.
A cabin that was added to the site to show what the living was like in the county during that time period.
  
Lovely hedge of roses growing along the fence.
The Hagood Mill 




Tool inside the mill
The prices for products that are sold in the gift shop on site. We opted for the ground wheat so I can make some bread.
Tool cabinet inside of the mill.
Pretty purple flowers that are growing next to one of the cabins.

A chimney to one of the cabins that had stones incorporated into the side.
A great place to spend some time and travel back into time. 
We went a few years back when the mill was open and grinding and was great to see the finished product. 
There are picnic tables scattered about so pack a lunch and enjoy.


Check out more about Hagood Mill here and here.

Yellow Onions...

Success!
I was able to grow some yellow onions this year. 
It was late when I planted them first week of April but I took the chance.
Thrilled that I did and now we have some fresh onions for cooking. 
Yummy!!

ramblings...

School is finally over this for the year; actually it was finished a week ago. Hard to believe.
That leaves me now with a rising sophomore and a rising 7th grader - holy cow!Where does the time go?! Not to mention I feel old. This year was a challenge but a good challenge with excellent results. I have even learned a few words in Japanese through Nate who has opted for Japanese for his language. :D
Nate will be getting his beginners permit here at the end of July. In South Carolina you can apply for a drivers license when you are 15. I am so not ready to see him behind the wheel but it is another step we need to take. He was the child that never wanted to drive, he was always going to take a bus or walk to where he wanted to go. Now his tune has changed, he wants to drive.
Summer is here in full force. I am trying so hard to get an area in the yard cleared out and cleaned up. Not going as planned but farther along than previous tries. The Zoya grass just does not want to go away so I keep pulling it up and out hopefully I will have it all out soon. The boys are gearing up to head North for a few weeks to spend time with their grandparents. Looking forward to the peace and quiet that will settle into the house but then again I will miss them. Projects are lined up for when they are away fingers are crossed that they will all be accomplished.
Other changes may be around the corner but we will have to wait and see. One I am wrestling over is starting another soap business - this time dealing with cold process soaps, perhaps wax tarts, and body lotion. Time will tell.
I am again on the board for our local hockey team's booster club. This year I was elected the VP of Administration. Things went crazy nuts after the first of this year and I can finally relax before it all really picks up again in September. It was a learning curve to say the least with all that had happened and know that I do not want issues to arise as they did our first year. Yes, it was a learning curve a BIG learning curve. I stepped out of my comfort zone to become the VP last year and wow! I learned so much. A big lesson that I realized after the end of the year was that my family fell to second place and that is not going to happen this year. I enjoy helping organize activities, participating in helping the team, and meeting wonderful people. This next year is only going to be better.
I have had a very sad time just recently and I will share that in the next few days.
So, things here have been wild to say the least and blog time has been nil. I am so happy to be back posting and thrilled that my app to post via my phone worked!
I have recipes and places to share along with anything else.
That is what has been up with me.

Heartsy...

Heartsy is one savings site that I have really enjoy shopping from and love the products that I have received.
Heartsy only offers items that are handcrafted or vintage and let me tell you the products offered are wonderful.
There have been deals on jewerly, mineral makeup, paper items, photography, candles and the list goes on.
I love purchasing items from those who craft them and supporting them in their efforts.
I have yet to be disappointed in my purchases and would love to share this wonderful find with you.

If you click on my link and purchase an item you will receive a $5 credit and so will I. :) 
Enjoy and happy shopping!

Heartsy savings for me and you. <---this is your savings link

Walgreens Refill Rx by Scan

OMG!
I am so in love with this app that allows me to refill our scripts at Walgreens.
Simply open the app (iPhone or Android), go refill by scan, scan 
then Bam! you are given a date and time when ready.
There is also the option to change that info.
Seriously this is so painless and fun. 

Want to read more or downlaod? Walgreens

photo from Walgreens

Testing a new app

Testing a new app that allows me to post from my phone. :D


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Location: ,Easley,SC

Eek...snake!


We spotted this fine fellow on during a walk we took while my in-laws were in town over Memorial Day weekend. My FIL was going to walk down to the stream when DH spotted the snake under some ferns by the water. Good thing he was spotted because who knows what could have happened. 
We are not sure sure what kind it is but thinking it is definately not one we would want to mess with.
If you happent to know what kind it is I would love to know. 
Just a reminder to be careful as you are out and about.

Italian Stuffed Shells - Recipe

I am very, very fond of Italian food. I find it easy to create and has such wonderful flavors. One dish I do not make very  frequently is stuffed shells and I'm not sure why. I can recall growing up we had these at least once a month but then once those teen years hit my mom stopped making them.

They are not hard at all to make and oh.so.good. I did look up a recipe to follow this time around but normally I make my ricotta my way, stuff, cover with sauce and bake. The whole family asked why I was not making them more. Umm, yeah, good question.

                     
* Exported from MasterCook *
                          Italian Stuffed Shells


Recipe By: Beverly Austin
Serving Size  : 8    
Categories: Main Meal

  Amount  Measure       Ingredient -- Preparation Method
--------  ------------  --------------------------------
  1            pound  ground beef, 95% lean
1/2           cup  onion -- chopped
  1            clove  garlic -- minced
  1            cup  hot water
  12          ounces  tomato paste
  1            tbl  beef bouillon granules
1 1/2        teaspoons  oregano -- dried
  1            large  egg -- beaten
  2            cups  cottage cheese 4%
  8            ounces  shredded reduced-fat mozzarella cheese
  24          jumbo  shell pasta
1/2           cup  Parmesan cheese

  • In a large skillet, cook the beef, onion and garlic over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain.
  • Stir in water, tomato paste, bouillon and oregano; simmer, uncovered for 30 minutes.
  • In a large bowl, combine the egg, cottage cheese, 1 cup mozzrella and Parmesan cheese.
  • Stuff shells with cheese mixture.
  • Arrange in a greased 3 qt baking dish. *
  • Pour meat sauce over the shells.
  • Cover and bake at 350 for 30 minutes.
  • Uncover; sprinkle with remaining mozzarella cheese.
  • Bake 5 more minutes or until cheese is melted.


Source:
  "Taste of Home. com"
Copyright:
  "2011"
Yield:
  "8 "
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Serving Ideas:
  • Tossed Salad
  • Warm Italian Bread
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