As I've mentioned a few times, Contented Comfort was named with the idea it'd carry a variety of items designed to help our customers create a content and comfortable atmosphere in their homes: quality bath and body products, novels, and a variety of cosy blankets, quilts, house shoes, hats, etc. A couple of years later, the decision was made to focus heavily on fandom inspired items instead of more general fragrances and designs, and the original crochet and knit items fell by the wayside as the soaps and perfumes took off.
However, I've been wanting to get more into making crochet, knit, and sewn items in the past year, but I just haven't had much time to work on them. Then my eldest decided to come on board as my apprentice/assistant this year.
Have you ever had those days when you want to do something, but you can't think of anything? What about rainy days, especially with kids, where you're stuck inside and everything sounds boring? Today's DIY is something to have on hand to make figuring out what to do in those times a bit easier, activity idea jars.
This project is a particularly good one for those with small children in the home. Some of the activities, especially those from the rainy day jar, may be things you do all the time or that seem boring, but there's something about pulling the idea at random from a jar that makes it seem fresh to a child. This is especially true if it comes out of a pretty or cool looking jar.
So let's get started...
We're right smack dab between Thanksgiving and Christmas, so I thought it was high time I posted another recipe for holiday entertaining. These lovely rolls are a lot easier to make than they look. Freezing them is all part of the process, so they're a perfect "make ahead" dish to have on hand this time of year for those last minute gatherings. Just thaw and serve.
You'll want to start by making your filling, so it has time to chill just enough to prevent being squished out entirely when you go to roll the cake.
12 oz. Fresh Cranberries
1 Cup Sugar
1/4 Cup Orange Juice
1/4 Cup Water
1 Tbsp. Vanilla
1/2 tsp. Salt
Dash of Black Pepper
Wash your cranberries and take out any that have gone bad. Add them to a medium sauce pan along with the orange juice, water, sugar, vanilla, and salt. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the berries pop and the sauce begins to thicken just a bit. Add the pepper just before removing from the heat.
Use a strainer to separate out the syrup from the cranberries before it cools and save both in airtight containers in the refrigerator.
Now to make the cream cheese portion of the filling...
You'd think someone would stick to simple projects when they're trying to learn how to do something, but I've never been the smartest person when it comes to stuff like that. So I went from sewing pillows to making a "u" shaped rice bag, to trying to clone my youngest's favorite play dress.
Yes, you read that correctly. I didn't even have a pattern, just an existing dress, some newspaper, a yard and a half of material with matching thread, and a "let's try it and see" attitude.
So here's how I came about making the dress pictured above.
Today's recipe is one for the coffee lovers in your life. It's simple and easy to make, and it's one of those dishes that gets even better if you make it a day ahead.
It's a variation on an icebox cake, so it's perfect for late spring and into summer. It packs a lot of coffee flavor, and each bar is quite rich. So a little goes a long way.
Today's review is of Never Trust a Sorcerer by L. R. Barrett-Durham. It's a fantasy adventure novel with a strong female protagonist. It has a touch of romance without that becoming the main focus of the story.
I will try to keep all reviews as spoiler free as possible. All reviews will be available here, on YouTube, and Goodreads.
The antagonist is a powerful sorcerer with a yen for world domination, and he's both tried and failed once before. He's been searching for the magical relic he was using in that attempt a few decades earlier since it was stollen, which is what ended his original bid for planetary despotism. He's just a little bitter and out for revenge against the family who stole his weapon to tide him over as he searches.
Anyone who has stopped by one of our booths at the various conventions and events we go to in the past few years knows I write fiction in addition to soaping, blogging, and vlogging. I have a novel and a collection of short works out now, and I'm well into the process of producing another novel. But, what you might not know is I've also been working on a series of flash fictions for a year now.
Each week since early February 2016, I've written a flash fiction story of 500 words of less based on first line prompts I either pulled from online sources or gotten from reader suggestions. At the end of March, I began making audio versions of the flash fictions and posting them each Friday over on Eng Family Vlogs. Then over time, the flash fictions began to intertwine and connect until I began to realize I'd created several new fictional "universes" in addition to adding to the three "universes" I've been writing in for years.
Valentine's Day is coming up next week. I thought I would share a fun and simple cookie recipe with an impressive presentation you can make for your someone special.
Chocolate covered strawberries and chocolate covered cherries are a Valentine's staple. They're delicious, but they can be a bit predictable. This recipe shakes up the concept just a bit by incorporating those classic flavors in cookie form. They're a variation on the classic Jello cookie, and you can make them in any flavor variation you like.
The batch pictured above was made using strawberry because that's what the dollar store I went by happened to have in stock, but I'd imagine they'd work just as well with any fruit flavor you might dip in chocolate.
It's the time of year where I begin brainstorming the new permanent fragrances and designs for debut at Con Kasterborous in June.
Each year, we introduce nine new fragrances to be added to our permanent collection. Last year was an exception when a last minute request was just too good to push into the next line. So far, I have a couple solid ideas, but I want to hear from you. Everything we do here at Contented Comfort is to try to help make your life more contented, comfortable, and just all around awesome, after all, so your input is key!
What are some characters, series, or general concepts you would like to see rendered in soap? Do you have a specific fragrance idea you'd love to try? Leave a comment below or contact me directly to leave your request, and I'll see what I can do to bring them to life.
We're just under a month away from Valentine's Day. Can you guess what that means for the store here at Contented Comfort? Our Valentine's specials are back!
From now until the holiday itself, you can find our Strawberries and Champagne and Sensational Sweets varieties in the Holiday Specials section.