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“And I Helped”

My poor mailman delivered the first load of my Amazon lightning sales stuff, so I started wrapping presents tonight. Little Miss Abby got in trouble by smacking the scissors as I cut paper, ripping the wrapping paper itself as well, and decided to dig around in my tissue paper and ribbon organizer (and made a big ole mess of it too! Lol). She acted like queen bee for having “helped”, but she was quite a handful. I couldn’t be angry when I saw where she had settled. The flash made her squint, but she had the cutest, most proud of herself, face at the time and how cute is it that she climbed into the organizer?!

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She also got brave and finally smacked one of the catnip bubbles that Larry blew for the fur babies. She’s a holy terror most of the time, but little cute moments like these make it so worth while.

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By the way, the title is a line from a really old commercial for Shake ‘N Bake. The little girl looked a lot like my mom’s childhood pictures, so I used to say that line to tease her and get her all riled up. *grin* I couldn’t resist it when I thought of Abby helping.

Well, I’m going to go back to wrapping before the next wave arrives tomorrow, so I hope you have a wonderful Tuesday and don’t forget to look for one of those special moments to make all of the frustration worth while. πŸ™‚

Cherry Chiffon

I thought for Serve It Sunday I’d share a super easy dessert dish just in case someone doesn’t have the recipe yet. It’s not only easy, but goes over incredibly well for gatherings and buffets. It’s really sweet, yet light and airy, with just a little tang from some pineapple. I’ll write out the regular recipe, then add my notes below it.

Cherry Chiffon
1 can (21 oz) cherry pie filling (in case you’ve never used this don’t drain)
1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk
1 tub (8 oz) whipped topping, thawed
1/2 can (of a 15 oz can) chunk pineapple, drained
1 cup miniature marshmallows.

Stir ingredients together, chill and allow the dessert to set up overnight, and serve cold.

My notes: We love this dessert, but we’ve tweaked the recipe a little. First, we prefer to use crushed pineapple. It seems to incorporate a lot more thoroughly, so there aren’t just pockets of tanginess. Second, we prefer to make the chiffon creamier, so I actually use two tubs of cool whip. And last, everyone loves the marshmallows, so I add the whole bag of marshmallows. It makes the dessert a bit sweeter, but gives more umph to the texture, and people can just cut back on the portion size if it’s too sweet to them. In all of the years that I’ve made this I haven’t noticed a difference in brands of the sweetened condensed milk, but I have noticed that some brands of pie filling has a few pits in them, so watch it carefully as you dump it into the bowl. I usually empty the can into the bowl first, just so that I can double check, although Comstock brand has the least problems. The chilling is a huge part of making this dessert impressive. It gives the chiffon time to set up and get super fluffy instead of just creamy, so don’t get impatient and try to serve it quickly. I’m adding a picture of it, although it’s the picture that Eagle Brand posted of it, since they’re experienced with setting up food shots and I’m not. Mine didn’t look nearly as pretty. One thing to note though is that they didn’t let theirs set up, so it looks uber creamy instead of fluffy. Expect yours to look more like the inside of a meringue, all airy, especially if you indulge with my version.

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I hope you don’t mind my posting such a basic recipe, but it’s a fantastic one that is always requested when I go to gatherings, so I figured it’d be the perfect one to share. πŸ™‚

Dorkfish Soap

Bill Engvall fans will get the title I used for this post. He has a skit about what he called a “dorkfish” and as soon as I unmolded my soaps that’s what popped into my mind. I knew when I decided that there was no way to duplicate that incredibly difficult color for the chocolate layer soaps and that I’d try to layer that pour instead of doing it the usual way that there was a good chance that things would go wrong. Especially since I’m so prone to problems anyway. Lol Well, the middle layer pour to bind the layers of slices went so wonky. The filling layer in two of them seeped down in areas and looks so weird, while one just plain fell apart from the filling layer. *laugh* One of those odd layered soaps looks like it has a major overbite, which is what made Dorkfish pop into my mind and I can’t quit laughing when I see the soap.

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The “dorkfish” soap is the one in the forefront of the next picture.

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Although I’m frustrated and disappointed by these soaps, especially since I’d hoped to feature them for Cyber Monday, I’m kind of excited about redoing them. I’m going to venture off the original concept and do a two layer cake slice soap. I’m going to cut these up, reheat them, and then dye them a bit darker if possible. The next layer I’ll pour right on top like I would normally and do it in as bright of a green as I can get it, scented with peppermint, so hopefully it’ll smell as yummy as the revamped mint cocoa lotion. I think the two toned look might be pretty and stand out a lot more with the contrasting colors. I’m just not sure how to top off the soap; I had planned on doing a vanilla soap frosting piped on top of the chocolate slices, but I don’t think that would look quite right. Or maybe it’ll give a cool Andes Mint-esque look. *shrug* I’m not sure. I’m just having some trouble picturing the direction for the top, so if anyone has ideas about what might be cool, please don’t hesitate to share them with me! *grin* In the meantime, I hope you’re having a fun weekend! πŸ™‚

Following Up on the Ornament Soaps

Between decorating for Christmas, cyber shopping (well, more like stalking Amazon’s lightning deals lol), resting my feet, and working on the layered chocolate cake slice soaps, I haven’t had much time to be creative blog wise. I thought I’d instead show you how the ornament soaps are doing. I didn’t use any additives when I was hand painting the soaps, so there’s a little bleeding and fading going on, and I’m so thrilled with the changes.

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I seriously love how soft and delicate they look now! Even the bright one that I didn’t originally like is headed toward being a sellable item in my book. *happy dance*

I hope you’ve had a wonderful Friday and Saturday morning! If you’re heading out shopping I read that the crowds are massively less than usual due to all of the Thanksgiving Day shopping, so hopefully that means you’ll get to enjoy yourself! My UPS man is going to be cursing me on the 1st and 2nd since I completed almost all of my shopping online. *laugh* I’ll have to look on Pinterest for some ideas on a nice little gift for him this Christmas, since the poor guy has to keep coming here. I’m off to try to sleep. πŸ™‚

Quick and Amusing

Since I know people are busy right now I wanted to just post two amusing pictures in honor of Thanksgiving and Black Friday. If you’re going shopping (or have been), then good luck with the sales, be kind, and be safe! πŸ™‚

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Happy Thanksgiving

Since it’s technically Thursday in most of the states I figured I’d start off wishing you a very Happy Thanksgiving, if you’re celebrating it. I’m alternating between trying to stop hurting and getting things ready, so I thought I’d just share some Thanksgiving themed funnies that I’ve been saving. I hope that everyone has a day of happiness, peace, yummy food, and elastic waistbands. πŸ™‚

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Painting Ornaments

Tonight I’ve been experimenting with painting ornament soaps. It’s been a couple of years since I did painted soaps, and I have new types of dyes compared to the basics from back then, so I knew there’d be at least a couple of soaps getting demoted to home use after this. *grin* I found that powdered pigments reconstituted with glycerin just plain didn’t work and I don’t even have examples, since it literally didn’t dye the soap. A couple of oxides were definitely a bit too strong for my taste and they make me a little nervous that being so strong on the surface of the soap might dye the skin a bit, so those will become “Goodyear soaps”, for Larry to use when he’s all ready stained up from the plant. *laugh* After a while I found that the “stained glass liquid colorants” worked the best and looked the best as decorative touches, instead of painted over most of the surface. Without further ado here are the hits and misses of a few Buttercream scented hand painted ornament soaps…

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I really like the star ornament that accidentally took on a fall color scheme, plus the polka dot one that I photographed individually, and I usually hate all things polka dot. *smile*

I definitely don’t care for the brightly painted blue, purple, and red ornament. Meh. Just a little too bold maybe. I’m really disappointed about the burgundy soap. Although I usually love glitter it totally didn’t work the greatest as a coating over the paint or when it was mixed into the paint. One, it’s a serious pain to try to paint with chunky paint, especially fine details when a tremor and involuntary movements all ready make an intriguing challenge. Two, when the paint and water dried the glitter began to flake off. I have glitter all over the couch, my pajamas, my tray, my walker, and maybe not so accidentally the dog’s head. *laugh* When you break an egg you might as well enjoy an omelet, right? Instead of griping over glitter getting all over just smear a bit on your dog’s head and admire how cheerful he suddenly looks. That’s today’s tip for trying to stay cheerful. *grin*

I always forget until I do these projects just how much I miss painting. I was always so critical of myself, but it’s a lot of fun, and rather relaxing, except in my shoulders. I think I’ll paint a few more of the polka dot ornaments and call it good, otherwise I’ll end up needing shots in my shoulders again from getting them too inflamed. No thank you.

Depending on how well I can get stuff prepped for Thanksgiving and on how my feet are doing after some uninterrupted bedrest, maybe tomorrow I’ll be able to work on the cake slice soaps. *crossing fingers* I hope your holiday prep, if you are celebrating, goes smoothly and you can enjoy some extra time with your family or a few moments to yourself for some pampering. πŸ™‚

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