English Breakfast Tea Pound Cake

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Today was one of those days where I had been watching a cooking documentary and had the urge to get back in the kitchen and bake! I like to cook but baking is really where my passion and talent show in the kitchen. I decided to make a cake to bring to my mother’s house for our weekly family dinners and I came up with the English Breakfast Tea Pound cake with a tea glaze.

Here is everything you need for the cake:

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  • 1 cup of butter or 2 sticks.
  • 1 cup of granulated sugar.
  • 3 Tablespoon of packed brown sugar.
  • Pinch of salt.
  • 1 Tablespoon of Vanilla
  • 1 Teaspoon of baking Powder.
  • 1 3/4 cups of Flour.
  • 4 large eggs.
  • 2 bags of English Breakfast Tea.

First step is to mix the butter, sugars, salt, baking powder, vanilla and tea leaves.

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Butter                                                                            Sugars, salt and baking powder

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Vanilla                                                                          Tea leaves

Mix together until the batter is smooth and fluffy. Next add the flour a little at a time and mix well. The batter with become like a paste.

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Butter Sugar mixture

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Slowly add flour.                                                                         Batter will be a little stiff and lumpy.

Last but not least add the eggs, 1 at a time. Make sure to mix well and scrape the bowl before adding another. Once the last egg has been added make sure the batter is mixed well.

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Mix well!                                                                                Scrape the bowl!

I chose to use a bundt-style pan i had near by but any cake or loaf pan will do. Make sure to spray the pan with a non-stick coking spray so the cake comes out clean. Add the batter to your pan and make sure it’s evenly distributed.

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Place your cake in a 350 degree oven for 2, 20 minute cycles and rotating the cake after each one. Once cake is cooked (Check by placing a tooth pick in the cake. If it comes out clean then its done) Place it on a cooling rack to let the cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Next we move on to the glaze!

What you need for the glaze:

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  • 1/4 cup brewed tea.
  • 1/2 granulated sugar.
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla.

Place the tea and sugar in a small sauce pan and bring to a boil. Boil for 1 minute. Remove from burner and add vanilla.

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Tea and sugar being to boil.                                                                   Vanilla added.

Let the glaze cool for a moment while you remove your cake from the pan. Pour glaze over cake and let cool completely.

Enjoy your cake with a cup of tea, some whipped cream or even some fruit!.

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Oat shower scrubber/ Bath soaker

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How to make oat shower scrubbers/bath soakers

I saw these on another blog although i can’t find the original source anymore. Anyway i decided to make these to add to my little stand at my local antique mall. These are great for the skin and smell amazing! You can throw them in the bath to scent your water and then scrub your skin. They should only be used once if you use them in the bath. The mesh bags help from the oats going everywhere in the tub. Or you can use them in the shower as exfoliate and they last about a week if you let them dry after each use.

Here are the things you need:

Oats

Essential Oil

Soap

Mesh fabric or bags

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I bought the essential oil (lavender was my choice) at my local heath food store although its much cheaper online. The soap i used was Isthmus Slough Lavender Soap. It’s locally made and contains no fake ingredients. I used just plain old Quaker oats and i bought the mesh bags at the dollar store. I placed about 5 cups of oats in a bowl.

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I then had to cut the soap in two so it wasn’t so hard to hold. This step is not necessary but I just depends on the size of your bar of soap.

Next using a cheese grater, grate your soap. I chose to use the fine grade but don’t use the zest grade if you have one.

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After I grated the bar of soap I transferred the soap shavings into the bowl with the oats.

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I then placed a drops of essential oil on the oats just enough that I felt made the oats smell great. Then mix it up until the soap is spread out among the oats!

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Next I placed about 1/2 cup of the mixture in the mesh bags. Make sure to tie the ties around the opening of the bag so the oats don’t escape!

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Now your done! Enjoy!

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Lace Frame

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Here’s one of the new blog posts I promised! I had some extra lace that was just lying around so I decided to make a cute frame to sell in my little shop. This is super easy just takes patience!

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Here’s what you need:

Modpodge

A wood frame

Lace big enough to cover all sides of the frame

A paint brush

Scissors

A plastic bag or wax paper

Optional: Chalk Paint

Optional:Chalk Paint Wax

The reason the last 2 are optional is because it depends on your frame. I bought a white frame so I didn’t need to paint it. If you do need to paint it, chalk paint and wax are my preferred type.

If your frame doesn’t needed painted or you already painted your frame lets begin!

Start by making sure the lace will cover the front and the sides of the frame.

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I started by adding Modpodge to the bottom then the sides and last the top, this way the lace will stay on straight with no bumps.

So starting at the bottom I covered the front of the frame with Modpodge. I then lay the lace on top of the Modpodge. After pressing down on the lace, I then placed more Modpodge on top of the lace. Its okay if the Modpodge is thick, it will dry out.

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Let the bottom dry for about 15 minutes. Go back and press down on the lace to push any bubble out. Don’t attempt to do the other sides until at least 1 has dried. I waited to do the other sides until they all dried 1 at a time. Repeat until all sides have been done and are dry. After each side is dry press on the lace to push and hard sections of Modpodge down and break it down a little. After all the front has been covered, cut out the center as close to the frame as you can so its a straight line, not in a zig-zag.

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Now on to the sides of the frame.

Doing the sides is done the same way. Start by folding the lace down, sometimes the Modpodge will harden the edge of the frame so by folding it down you break down the dried Modpodge. Place a thick layer of Modpodge on the sides of the frame. Now fold the lace over the sides of the frame again, pulling down to let the lace sit tight against the frame.Then add a thick layer of Modpodge over the lace, press down firmly when down.

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I then laid the frame down on a plastic bag (you can use wax paper, anything that doesn’t transfer) so it pushed the lace firmly on the frame. Be careful and make sure you remove the frame from the plastic bag before it dries all the way. Just let the Modpodge get tacky, then press the lace onto the frame (You’ll notice a difference in how the lace sticks to the frame once the Modpodge dries a little). After all sides have dried, cut away any extra lace as close to the frame as you can and then your done!

Add a family picture, or in my case a poem about music and share with pride!


Update!

I really have been slacking lately. I haven’t been updating as much as i should be and i am sorry! I recently became a dealer at Leaf Treehouse, which is an Antique, collectables, refurbished furniture and craft store https://www.facebook.com/TreehouseMall?fref=ts (<- that is there Facebook page if you care to visit.) It was one of my favorite stores to visit in town, then i decided why not try to sell some of my crafts there. So I did and i have been loving it!

I did one trade show which was a lot of fun. It was a lot of work but it was a great experience. I wouldn’t mind doing another one however i have to always think of my bottom line. With working full-time i have to be able to make up for the money i would lose not going to work, plus the booth costs. I some ways it’s not worth it.

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So after the trade show and becoming a dealer I’ve been dedicating all my hours to working on items to sell, spending time with my family and work, oh and getting a new car 🙂 I promise that soon i will have some more how to blog posts. I am working on one now but i have to wait for it to be finished for all the pictures.

How to Make Wool Dryer Balls

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For getting hooked on these I have to give credits to my mother in law. She gave me a few dryer balls last year and I love them. It’s recommended to place 3 for a medium load, 4 for a large load.

Dryer balls are great for the following reasons:

  • They cut your drying time, by absorbing all the moister taking less time for your laundry to dry.
  • They reduce static cling, which doesn’t bother me but I’m sure it bothers some.
  • You can add essential oils to the ball making your laundry smell great and chemical free!
  • They last a long time, so money well spent!

Heres what you need:

  • 100% wool yarn, i bought mine at Joann’s Fabric with a 60% off coupon. Only cost me $2.80 and I made 4 balls. I also found some at a thrift store for a $1.
  • Scissors
  • Panty Hose

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  • I chose Patons Wool, nothing fancy but I like it.

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  • Start by holding the yarn in your hand like the picture above.

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  • Wrap the yard around your fingers. Doesn’t have to be a lot. I probably wrapped it 10 to 15 times.
  • Next, remove it from your hand and wrap the yarn in the middle, like your making a bow.

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  • Now place both ends of the loops together and start wrapping to form the ball.

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  • Now you just need to keep wrapping until you form the ball size you choose. Mine are about tennis ball size, maybe a little bigger. Tie off the end and place it under some of the strands so it doesn’t stick out or fall out.

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  • I showed 2 different balls, the first one is showing how it forms a ball and the second to a finished ball.

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  • Now place the balls inside the panty hose. You can tie the panty hose to separate the balls like I did, or you can tie with ribbon or string. Don’t use some of the yarn or it will felt to the panty hose.

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  • After you place your balls in the panty hose you throw them in the washer. I washed them with my blankets on hot. Then place them in the dryer. The whole reason you are washing a drying them is so they “Felt.” This is where the strings felt together, so if you pull one they all pull. If the single strands are pulling a part repeat until they felt together.
  • As you use the balls they will pill, but that is normal.
  • Enjoy!


Candle Making

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Candle Making

Today I tried my hand at making candles and it was a success! So I decided I would to a post about how it easy it is. Let me explain a few things. Choose containers that will fit the style you wish but can take heat, such as glass. When you are choosing items to hold up your wick make sure it can go in the oven without melting. As the wax melts it is wise to place your container in the oven on the lowest setting so that air bubbles won’t form as you pour the wax. Also it best to melt the wax in a double broiler, aka two pots and water. Extremely high heat can cause a fire if the vapors come in contact with an open flame. By doing the double broiler the wax melts at a slower pace so the heat remains controllable.

Here are the items you’ll need:

  • Candle making wax
  • Containers
  • Wicks
  • 2 pots, one on the small side and that you wont reuse for food.
  • 1 empty pen
  • 2 paper clips
  • Thermometer
  • 2 wooden sticks
  • A hot glue gun
  • Optional:Dye
  • Optional: Fragrance

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Step 1: Setting the Wick

Making sure the containers are washed, dry and clean.  Preheat your glue gun and your oven on the lowest setting, as you wash your container.

Place the wick through the empty bic pen. This allows you to place the wick in the center of the container without the wick moving around. You could also use a straw as well.

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Place a small amount of hot glue on the base of the wick. Place the wick in the center of the container. Once the glue has set remove the bic pen.

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Now wrap the wick around the wooden stick and secure with the paper clip. You can use a clothes pin as well as long as it is okay to go in the oven.

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Step 2: Melting the wax.

The wax I bought comes in 3 bricks per pound. I choose to melt 2 bricks to see how much I would get, but I ended up having to melt the 3rd one after filling the taller glass to fill both. Fill 1 pot with water almost half way. I bought the second pot that I only use it for melting wax at Good Will for a $1. This way if I have wax left in the pot I can just reheat it and use it over again. I then placed 2 bricks in the pot and slowly melted it. I did not place the stove top any higher than a 4 to avoid aggressive boiling. I made sure that if the water came to a boil that it did not go over the pot and into the wax I also constantly monitored the temperature as it need to be at 180, no higher.

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Once the wax reached 180 I removed it from the heat. This would be the time to add and stir the dye. I choose not to but that’s only a personal preference. After the wax cools to 175 add the fragrance if you choose. I choose a fragrance that was made for candle making called apple blossom. Make sure to stir well!

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Now pour the wax making sure not to spill it everywhere (Like i did!) Also leave about a cup of wax in the pot to reheat later. Make sure once you are done pouring the your wick is nice and straight! (I never got a picture of me pour the wax because it was hard to do both at the same time!)

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Here are the 2 candles cooling. If you notice that the wax is lower by the wick then by the outside, poke a few holes around wick to let the air out and reheat the remain wax to fill the gap.

Once the candles are completely cools trim the wick and your done!

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PS i choose to add twine and beads around the candle just to give it some decor!

A couple of note or things I’ve learned while making a bunch.

  • Buy a couple of magnets to place under the container, this will keep the metal tag from moving around once the wax is poured.
  • Use a hair dryer to remove an dripped wax off of the container.
  • Buy a mold of some kind and pour extra wax into it when you don’t want to use that scent or color any more. This way you can remelt the wax and use it again another day!


Home made extracts

For Christmas I like to at least make a few of my presents. They mostly go to family like my mom, grandma or in-laws. This year i decided to make home-made extracts. I’ve previously made vanilla extract that i use all the time even in my smoothies! I choose to make 2 different flavors this year Orange and Coconut.

Things you will need for both extract

  • Air tight containers (i used small canning jars)
  • Vodka (I wasn’t picky and bought what was on sale however choose what you like the best.)
  • A fruit peeler (If you have one, a knife will do the same)
  • A kitchen knife
  • An orange ( Or a few if you plan on making a lot)
  • A coconut (I only need 1 because it will go along way)

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Orange extract

For the orange extract start by washing our container so its clean. Also wash the orange, you never know how many people touched it before you bought it and since you are using the outside its important to keep it clean.

Next start peeling strips of orange peel. If you cut parts of the rind or the actual orange that’s fine just remove it before you place it into the container.

IMG_1857 On the left side you’ll see i have to much of the rind and the orange itself. I want each peel to look like the right side, only the peel, little rind and you can see the pores on the peel.

After you have cut all the peel of the orange, place as much as you want into the container. I placed about half an orange in each container. Pour the vodka over the orange peel and close the lid tight. Leave the container in a cool part of your kitchen, shaking the container every once in a while. After about a month you can really smell the orange, it is okay to use but the longer it sits the more flavor it will have. If you want to add new orange peel to the extract that’s fine too, you will notice the change in the orange after it sits in the vodka for months The orange peel won’t rot with the vodka covering it, however if you use the extract and parts of the peel are exposed, remove the peel or cut it into smaller pieces.

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Coconut

The same processes goes for the Coconut but its a little more labor intensive.

Start by locating the eyes (as i call it ) of the coconut.

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Use a small hollow object to pierce through the eye. I choose my thermometer because it is long and metal. If you find that your chosen object wont go through the coconut, try it on a different eye. One eye is always soft and allows you to pierce through.

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Now place the open eye over a cup to let the coconut water drain.

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After the water has drained you have to open the coconut which is a huge pain in the butt sometimes. You can use a kitchen knife and firmly tap it on the kitchen counter along the seam of the coconut to open. Or in my case allow your husband to use his favorite hatchet!

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After you get the coconut to open follow the same steps as the orange to obtain strips coconut.

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I filled the bottom of my container before I poured vodka over it.

Same rules apply as the orange. Let it sit for at least a month, but the longer the better. Remove or exchange ay exposed pieces

Enjoy!