Monday, December 14

Cookie and Candy Homemade Decor

The Nesting Place is hosting a big Christmas Tour of Homes.

We decorated our cubboard with totally handmade treats this year and it was quite an achieve'mint'!


The best kind of real estate invest'mint': A Gingerbread House!

A great embellish'mint' - candy canes with crepe paper on a cupcake stand.

Edible Decor -
A wonderful mint cone - put in with toothpicks on the wrapper ends - you just pluck a mint off to nibble on - very handy.

A tacky wacky fun box. Love making these - truly a trash to treasure craft. This was an old box decoupaged with paper. Have even used the box trash bags come in for this - kids and dogs love these.

Here we have put dog cookies in this box:

A big thanks to The Nester for hosting this huge Holiday Tour of Homes!

Wednesday, December 2

Scrappy Jessi's Third Anuual Cookie Swap

We are glad Scrappy Jessi threw this cookie swap again this year - it is always a lot of fun to check out all the great cookies everyone makes and fantasize of gobbling up all of them.

Yesterday, it was a cold blustery day and me and the dogs were inside - what could be a better time than to make cookie memories for them - especially Chloe as she is the new wee one.

There are many dog cookie recipes and they are great - but call for complicated ingredients and sometimes an egg.

I found the following recipe a basic, simple 'have on hand' ingredients cookie for dogs recipe.

This is posted by Dalyce on eHOW titled: How to Make Peanut Butter Cookies for Dogs


2 Tablespoons oil (I used canola)
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 cup tepid water
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup white floor

You will need: rolling pin, cookie cutters, baking sheets


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Combine oil, peanut butter and water in a medium sized bowl. Add flour, 1/2 cup at a time. Knead constantly into a firm dough. (This will be thicker than a sugar cookie dough or pie crust.) Use your hands instead of mixer for this, it seems easier and the dough will be very firm.

3. Lightly dust part of your countertop or large cutting board and a rolling pin with dough to keep it from sticking. Roll a 3" ball of dough to about 1/4" thick. Cut the dough with cookie cutter.

4. Arrange cut cookies on a baking sheet. Place in preheated oven.

5. Bake for appoximately 20 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.

This was a quick to mix up batch of cookies.

The dogs loved taking little nibbles of the dough (this was doable as no raw eggs in batter).

The cookies are firm and warm when out of the oven, but they turn into a harder cookie. The dogs enjoy hard crunchy cookies.

These cookies are 100% Dog Approved! All of the dogs loved these - would make a great gift for a dog. Thank you Dalyce for tasty dog cookie recipe.

And thank you Jessi for hosting this wonderful cookie swap!

Now off to visit the other yummy cookie posts...

Friday, October 23

Candace’s Mad Hatter's Tea Party

Chocolate, pumpkin hats and lemon balm tea
Must be Candace’s Mad Hatters Party Tea!

We will sit and chat
About this and that
Then wait and watch for
The wild cheshire cat

A Baker’s chocolate for us to eat
Sweetened, of course, my, what a treat!

Pompadorish pumpkin hats there’ll be,

So tie one on and drink your tea.
Hardy har har and tea hee hee.

Candace hosted a real Mad Hatter's Tea Party along with the Mad Hatter's Tea Blogparty with some fun, dressed up friends. And has a wonderful authentic tea menu she is serving. Thank you for hosting this Candace!

Friday, October 16

Hello There Dearies,

Do come in...truly glad to welcome some of you from Vanessa's A Fanciful Twist Halloween Blogparty...

Here we are in a (six degrees of Kevin Bacon way) close relations’ fabulous kitchen.

I have been cooking up a storm working on recipes from the “Mrs. Lovett’s Secret Recipes Collection” and everyone, well, they just ‘love it’! It does take a bit of effort to ‘catch’ her truly secret yet tasty ingredient.

Little known but actual fact – many true crime buffs will tell you there really was a Barber of Feet Street and his creative cooking companion in London’s history coinciding along with lots of tasty pies with many missing people – I mean people missing - in the vicinity of the barber shop. It took ages for the lax and lazy police to figure out this wily couples’ ways and means. Many an officer themselves gorged on the infamous meat pies.

Ahh, here you have caught me slaving over a hot stove making my special stew (the secret really is in the sauce). You need a Basil, some Manwich and well a helping foot ... er hand.

Trust me, don’t be shy, take a bite - it really does taste like chicken!

What’s that? You are a vegetarian -
Not to worry, I have for those of you ‘going green’ (and by the way green humans do look so fresh) my soylent green sandwiches. And these are jam packed with only the freshest raw soylent green. Not any rationing going on here – I have my own private supply – so dig right in, there is plenty more. I know other hostesses will be absolutely green with envy – they shouldn't be because now my dinner plans can truly involve them.

Check out my finger food and tarts – what beauties . They were always so eager to lend a helping hand.

Everyone, wait your turn, don’t rush the tray loaded with The Tasty Toes, that's right toes not toads! And what goes so well with these but a well aged hand-crafted cheese. We are considering going into the gourmet cheese business – but we have only toed around with the idea so far.

Well have so enjoyed having all of you delightful ladies for dinner and careful, do watch your heads on the way out!

Gals I will get to your blogs - what a blogparty blast! All of these (other than the plastic foot and real creme cheese sandwiches) are made of that old fashioned flour dough craft clay. You just shape your flour dough and lightly bake then paint with food coloring. There are some recipes for edible sculpted bread fingers.

And: there is a theory based on some extensive research that there really was a man and lady selling the meat pies made of people in old London. Eeeek.

Thursday, October 15

Hi there, Stuart here with the latest news…

Meet little Chloe.

She has fun playing with my toys.

She sleeps on Daddy,

Here is me, Stuart, trying out my new costume, it is comfortable and fun to lounge around in.

Did you know that several years ago I was freed from a cage by my Mom? Some wonderful ladies at a shelter had hidden me in the rabbit room - I have long ears and blended in but had to be quiet. I was a 'smiler' and they could not give me that scarey shot. No one had wanted to adopt me because I was a biter. I am glad Mommy came and adopted me.

I will be going Trick or Treating with Toto who will go as Toto of Wizard of Oz. We only go to neighbors’ houses that we know. Mommy always sorts through our candy bag and somehow people give us tasty dog treats and crackers.

Dressing up in costumes and eating treats - Halloween is a fun time!

A Fun Halloween Blogparty

The wonderful Vanessa of A Fanciful Twist who always works so hard to throw the best parties in blogdom is hosting Halloween: A Hauntingly Magical Celebration Revealed.

You know it's goin to be great!

Thursday, October 8

Petfinder and finding a Pet

What have I been up to? Trying to get a little dog and make a difference in it's life.

I wrote about the loss of my dogs, little Silkey and Sprout that passed this summer.

I felt it was time to start looking for another little pet.


Petfinder (a website that lists all dogs and other pets available) has lots of listings from shelters, humane societies/SPCA groups and rescue groups. No longer does a person have to go in person to a city shelter to look at all the dogs and cats. Most city shelters list on petfinder and you type in the size, age range and breed of pet you want.

I started checking Petfinder any time I got a spare minute at the computer.


Groups that tend to have less strict criteria are the SPCA groups, some Humane Society Groups and of course, City Shelters. The SPCA will do a home visit for pit bull adoptions (a very good idea).

If you find a pet on Petfinder feel free to call for any details. Make sure a heartworm test is done, spaying will be performed and shots given.

If it is a rescue group that has a dog you like check out their qualifications and ask about their criteria - some now require all animals in the household to be spayed and every animal to have heartworm preventative for 5 years in their own names. Many feel some of them are getting so strict as to be hurdles. Some are not as strict though and work very hard at getting a pet a good home. You have to be persistent and find one that you might qualify.

The wonderful lady I got Silkey from was no longer doing rescues.

Call and check the pet is still at the shelter/SPCA as we got there and the little dog had been adopted - they had not had time to update their Petfinder listing.

Puppymills are happily being done away with (Petland is one of the few stores remaining that sell puppymill puppies) thanks to Petfinder and public awareness.

Another tip: if going to a shelter, as a precaution, when you get home, take off your sneakers outside and run them through the washer then air dry. I do not want to expose my pets to anything such as dog flu or kennel cough and am extra careful this way.

Have you checked out the guys and new reality show "Rescue Ink"? These tough looking hunky guys go out and make a difference in animals' lives. They actually are out working on animal problems, really rescuing them - a great bunch of guys. An upcoming episode has them trying to help some dogs susupected being involved in pit bull dog fighting.

Sunday, September 6

Gone With The Wind Gala Blog Party

Hosted by Nikki of The Scarlett Rose Garden Blog.

Welcome as we celebrate the 70th anniversary of this spectacular movie.

Let's have some cake specially made for this occasion...

Deep in plantation country in Louisiana is a traditional recipe that is as rich and beautiful as Scarlett O'Hara.



Cake (or cupcakes) Ingredients:

1/2 ounce red food coloring (optional)
2 heaping teaspoons cocoa
1/2 cup shortening
1 and 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 cup buttermilk
2 and 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon real vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon white vinegar (cider vinegar would be too strong)

Make a paste of red food coloring and cocoa in a small bowl. Cream shortening and sugar thoroughly. Add eggs and mix well, then add the cocoa paste (or the cocoa if omitting the red food coloring). Add butermilk alternately with the flour and salt. Beat well after each addition (important to do this step to get a light, fluffy cake texture). Then add the vanilla. Mix soda and vinegar in a small bowl and fold into the cake batter. Pour batter into a greased and floured cake pan or into cupcake pan with paper liners.

Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 25 - 30 minutes. Watch carefully and test with an inserted toothpick. Let cool completely before frosting.


This is an old fashioned roux icing. Rouxs are the basis of much cookery in Louisiana plantation territory. This is a rich buttercream icing that is cooked.


3 tablespoons flour
1 cup milk
1 cup room temperature butter
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon real vanilla extract

Cook flour and milk until thick while stirring constantly.

Then thoroughly cool. In separate bowl cream together butter and sugar. Add vanilla. Beat the two mixtures together until the consistency is that of whipped cream. Refrigerate to cool completely before frosting cake or cupcakes.

Note: I did add a small amount of red food coloring - most modernized recipes use a bottle of red food coloring. You get a natural red color with the mixture of the vinegar, buttermilk and cocoa.

A Scarlett Red Velvet Cupcake Tower:

I printed up Scarlet in her famous red velvet gown and glued the picture to a toothpick (making sure to apply glue only to the very top of the toothpick). This cute little toothpick paperdoll is useful to adorn cupcakes or other food items.

This was a lot of fun to make a classic Southern cake for such a wonderful celebration. I truly anticipated having half a cupcake with total excitement.

Thank you Nikki for hosting this and I can't wait to find out what the other blog partygoers put together!

Friday, August 21

The Wizard of Oz Blogparty

How wonderful that Twyla and Lindsey of Two Crazy Crafters would host a celebration of this great movie.

All the dogs got so excited and well...let's let Stuart type from here on out...

Mommy told us about the Wizard of Oz Blogparty.

I was excited!

We have been working hard and having fun homeschooling this summer. I overheard Mommy tell Daddy that we will continue to do so - she said it is cost e-fish-ent - whatever that means. All I know is that I am having lots of fun to miss the doggie daycare.

The Lesson Plans for this week were about The Wizard of Oz.

We worked on menu planning, thinking up creative dishes of a Wizard of Oz theme.


These are all CERTIFIED and
Toto-ally APPROVED:

Tree Thrown Apple Fritters

Poppy Seed Muffins

Relish the Adventure Relish Tray

Witch's Wicked Beef Stew Brew

Aunti M's Biscuits and Gravy

Glenda the Good (for you) Witch's Vegetarian Stew

Lions and Tigers and a Bear Claw Pastry

Ruby Slipper Red Velvet Cake

For snack time we had a Relish the Adventure Relish Tray.

My favorite was the doggie relish tray which consisted of chicken and crackers - mmmmmmm.

After eating it was time to do our Theater Arts segment. We got to get in the fabric box and decide who would be who in the Wizard of Oz dress up.

Confusion ensued! Toto wanted to play the Good Witch. I wanted to play Toto. Ariel did not really mind who she played.

We settled this by having Toto play Toto (a logical fit and no costume needed) and Ariel play the Wicked Witch (not a logical fit) and me play Glinda the Good Witch (a perfect fit).

Here I am (Stuart) as Glinda the Good Witch

Here is Ariel:

Here is Toto:

We had fun but the day's lessons were still not done.

We had computer time and found these facts about The Wizard of Oz movie:

Toto was a rescue (she barked too much and was not wanted).
Toto was a girl.
Toto should have won an academy award.

Next it was craft time.

Mommy is working on a book called "How to Homeschool Your Dogs". She is almost done with the chapter on 'crafts from throw away items'. For this project she took some scrap paper destined for the recycle bin and traced each of our paws on the paper. We colored it in with a little help. We rolled up some paper to form the stick.

And we had a paper Lolli-paw-p (pronounced Lollipop). The Lollipop Guild is our favorite song.

Whew, what a day!

Mommy is going to read to me "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz" tonight as my bedtime story. It was a busy day and we are tired - thank you Twyla and Lindsey for hosting this fun blogparty - It was pawsitively the best!

Monday, July 27

There really is no place like home...

Toto says she is feeling much better. She had a great cozy set up today to relax in - a big, soft, comfy quilt with her favorite stuffed dog toys. She loved this and relaxed all afternoon while watching tv and eating chicken dinner. When she got tired of watching tv I read to her from - you guessed it - her favorite story:
"The Wonderful Wizard of Oz"!

Mycotoxicosis again

Just disbelief as I saw Toto come in jump on the bed and I noticed mild shaking.

I told my husband she was shaking and he thought it was just too cold in the house.

I put her down on the floor and she had that walk where she was stumbling around.

And I just flat out have to admit I just freaked out panicked.

Then of course the fast dash to the emergency clinic.

Warning: for other pet owners. Mycotoxicosis is a mold toxin that can form in a compost (dogs can still get to this with a secure lid on it), on food in garbage or food left out (in another case someone had left out a pan with leavings from a roast outside), on grains (put in a compost or in your garbage/kitchen trash), and, as we learned, mulch - the list goes on - leaves, average garden debris, almost anything.

Although a lot of vets are aware of this, some are not, or it can be misdiagnosed or not diagnosed in time or the person could be gone and not realize their dog has this. There is a small window of time to get your dog to the vet and get treatment.

Toto had been in the backyard and I thought it was safe back there - we had dismantled the compost bin months ago when this had happened. Now we found out this toxin can form on mulch, leaves left on the ground, hay used as mulch, basically anything. I am still researching this - pea gravel and plain dirt my be less likely to have this.

I spent the weekend redoing my garden. I am removing the mulch we had.

She had had a full 'dinner' of chicken breast, a bit of pasta and a small amount of prescription diet id. She went outside and I noticed her exploring and nosing in a particular spot around some mulch. The vet said some dogs will put mulch in their mouths.

She was kept for 20 hours at the emergency clinic on an iv. I had told them I would call often and most certainly did.

We went out to the yard and even in the hot southern sun we found mold on the mulch she was nosing around in. Mold forms on moist wood in the enclosed plastic bag you buy at garden centers - so check very carefully and follow up with more checks as it can form underneath the top layer.

Toto is resting comfortably and doing fine. No walks today and she will be getting lots of cozies (when you pile the quilts and comforters in a big pile - dogs love this), pettings, love and chicken dinners (her favorite) - and a good dog movie - the cute Hotel for Dogs.

I will be doing a mold check daily in the backyard on everything and supervising her quite carefully.

Saturday, July 18

A Garden Party hosted by

Susan of Savoring Time in the Kitchen , who not only has a spectacular garden but also has a some wonderful cooking recipes and photos. I got excited when I read she would be having this garden party.

I planned my garden menu around herbs.

The al fresco menu:

Basil with cream cheese sandwiches with rosemary garnish.

Some strawberries and

A strawberry drink I made by taking organic strawberries and simply crushing some into some ice water. Strawberries always make a great garnish.

And some green tiered cupcakes. Piled really high with gloppy icing and lots of sprinkles.

The best for last: homemade mint chocolate chip ice cream - fantastic.

Now off to visit the other Garden Partygoers.

Just got to everyone on the list and I tell you - the gardens and produce are spectacular! A lot of people do not realize the work that goes into gardens (that is why I stick with herbs which are a bit less work). Such beautiful, well tended gardens at all the blogs. It was actually like reading a gardening magazine.

What a fun garden party - thanks Susan for hosting this!

Thursday, July 16

Swap defautlers

I also feel quite freely to speak my mind about all the people that sign up for swaps and then just flat out give an anemic response and then don't respond much less send their package.

Sadly this is a recurring thing in a lot of swaps. I would hate to think of a beginner blogger being excited and signing up for a swap and running into this.

It has happened to me. The wicked witch swap last year netted me a lady who flat out took my package and I received nada, not even a thank you or that she had received it.

Some swaps I have read about have super strict rules. Some apron swaps even require a reference! And a copy of the mailing receipt to the hostess. Some little children had been involved with their moms in receiving a little apron and in more than one instance these little kids sat waiting for their little aprons that never arrived.

Is this what our fun friendly innocent swaps are evolving into.

I do know I am not the only one going through this and happily I feel compelled to write about this problem so that others do not think they are alone in this!

Well, better late than never and surely better than being a defaulter - my package did come in! And it is quite wonderful.

But still, though, giveways and blog parties seem more of a sure deal.

A Very Sad Day

I know I talk on about all my wonderful pets. Well, two of the oldest ones were having health problems. They had been going to the vet to take care of these things.

One dog, my beloved Silkey (a puppy mill rescue) had some problems and I had to put her to sleep this past Tuesday.

The next morning I sat in the backyard with my dogs who were missing her and my other oldest dog, Sprout (Little Sprout when younger) went outside with us and then asked to go back in quite quickly. We lingered outside for not more than a few minutes and I went in expecting to find her on the pile of comforters I keep on the den floor for her.

She was missing. I went searching through the house fearful she may have fallen (she had bad arthritis) and could not find her.

I then looked more carefully and found her dead in a place (behind the stairs) that she had never been to. She lay peacefully dead.

I am just heartbroken to lose two of my most precious dogs each day.

My littlest Ariel is taking it really hard as Sprout was the 'mom' dog to them all.

I am so grateful to all the blogworld and all of you ladies because I already have something to look forward to: the blog garden party hosted by Savoring Time in the Garden. I would be just hysterical with grief but at least I have something to plan for.

I really do love all you fellow bloggers and feel we do help each other through these trying times.

Update: my poor little delicate Ariel is taking this hard and had to go to the vet for not eating. Dogs really grieve for other dogs.

It is good that I had something to plan for this week (the blog garden party) -that has helped - but this has been a really tough week. Thanks to all of your who have commented and emailed... - I love all you 'url friends'!


Sunday, July 12

Welcome to the Ice Cream Social given by

Jenn of Sweet Eye Candy Creations .

What a wonderful idea on a hot day and what a sweet way to cool down...
My childhood memories of ice cream involved the homemade kind. My father had 'farm folk' as relatives and it was a treat to go visit them for they usually had real dairy - the labor intensive kind -such as churned butter (unbelieveably good) and homemade ice cream.

The homemade kind where it had a crank and all the rock salt and had to be done outside in the easily over 100 degree heat. It was a lot of work but worth it.

How much more carefree and easier it is to replicate that now. Real homemade ice cream with an electric ice cream maker - we got one that required rock salt which really brings home that old fashioned creamy taste.

We made three flavors of custard ice cream. Strawberry, creamy blueberry, and chocolate & cherry.

Then, I made an ice cream cone tower with Stuart on top. This ice cream topper is from the tutorial Jenn gave us (actually referred to as a cupcake topper) in the Sweet Six Online Art Seminar. I love how it turned out!

I can't wait to visit the other ladies in the ice cream social and get more ice cream!

Thursday, July 9

A MeMe Award from Sherry & Paper trinket Giveaway

of If I Could Set My Soul Free She has a great blog and just hosted a paper bag swap that was a lot of fun.

Seven things I recently discovered about myself are...

1. Finally, my flagging interest in politics has been restored: Brad Pitt for Mayor.

2. That I love our new ice cream maker. The kind that uses rock salt and real cream and other real ingredients. You can customize some terrific flavors...triple chocolate espresso is an idea.

3. Me and the dogs are really enjoying homeschooling this summer. They get home cooked meals, an invigorating curriculum and we save daycare tuition costs - I just might become a Stay At Home Dog Mom.

4. The precious rescued cats at Animal Rescue League of Elk Grove, California have great taste in tv shows. The League is requesting people donate any spare tv's they might have. These help relax and soothe them. What do these little fur cuties like? -Desperate Housewives and nature shows - in that order.

5. I am an avid pre-cycler. I have a stash of a hidden-from-Hubby hoard of used coffee filters, egg cartons and (horrors) cardboard toilet paper rolls. My most recent swap hosted by Sherry involved paper bags - loved this and never realized both what fun you can have with paper bags and how many you can fit by mashing them flat in the top of a closet.

6. Ab crunches are gone. Outta here, don't need them. No more I should have, would have, could have done a crunch. They may contribute (some sources are saying outright cause) a collapsing pelvic floor. Jaw dropper shocker. Tummy pull-ins held for various counts (yes, a retro isometric exercise) and some pilates non crunchable ab exercises are alternatives.

7. Chocolate is truly a remarkable substance. It really is an affordable necessary luxury. I have found many uses for it - not just eating it (obviously the best use), but creating with it (chocolate clay), imbibing it (chocolate liquor) and even bathing in it (my chocolate truffle sugar scrub). I do not, though, take it to the garden in the form of cocoa shell mulch as this may not be good for dogs.

Thanks Sherry for giving me this award!

Paper tiny trinket Giveaway: (This is not actual life size - the pizza is about the size of a quarter)

This includes my tiny bags for holding the pizzas and a tiny handwritten menu and 1 pizza, and three slices of pizza stickers. Enough for a tiny pizza feast. The stickers are usable as their backing is still attached. These realistic stickers are made by 'sticko'.

Your comment must have a blog link to an email or an email in the comment post, please. Leave a comment through til next Wednesay to be eligible.

Friday, June 26

Mad Hatters Tea Party

Preparations for the Mad Hatters Tea Party were in full swing.
This fabulously famous event was anticipated by all of Blogdom.
The Queen had verily and busily baked some tasty tarts.

She had baked chocolate tarts and even chocolate heart tarts.
Peter Piper had given her the recipe for a red non-pickled pepper tart.

Later, a messenger hurriedly arrived to deliver a message to the Queen.
Someone had absconded with those tasties, those tarts!

Drat, but how could this have happened queried the Queen (of Hearts),
Someone has stolen my tasty tray of tarts.

She paced to and fro contemplating this would be greedy culprit.
And she had not too short a list of suspects...

Was it the virile Guard she had set out on duty to protect the tarts? Surely not...

or the handsomely weary world Traveler that had dropped by just as the tarts were made?

Or this rakish Charmer? Impossible. why he could afford a pirate's bounty of tarts!

Hmmmm, to set a trap - that would be the way to catch this smart tart thief!

The Queen of Hearts once again made some tarts all in one long day.
Now these tarts would be rigged from the start all doused in a liquor-ish way.

The Knave of Hearts, slyly at the start, did take and devour them away.

Soon all concerned noticed the Knave of Hearts did hop kind of funny.

Aha, they had caught the non-teetotaler tart thief - the little Bunny!

The taker was forgiven - he's such a cute little (hi-cup) Hunny.

This is amazing - I heard sounds in the kitchen and went in there and found that Bunny (aka Knave of Hearts) and the Queen of Hearts had made a chocolate clay theater - naturally in their size so they could step right up on stage and act out this Tale of Tarts.

These are just too stickerish sweetly cute - all involving storybook and tea party themes! Just post a comment on this post through til this Sunday (must have an email or blog where I can reach you if you win) and there will be a drawing for these.

Now off to visit the other tea partyers! And thanks to Vanessa for hosting this fantabulous Mad Hatter's Tea Party.

Edited to add on Monday: This wonderful tea party really has not ended for a lot of us just because it is Monday and I am even still visiting other parties - so the final date has been extended for the stickers until this Wednesday to give other party goers a chance to win them. Happy party hopping!

AND The Winner of the Sticker Giveaway is....

Zan Asha