It's the time of year here at Contented Comfort where we look over everything we're doing and find ways to make improvements to our product lines, marketing, and efficiency. As I've mentioned previously, knits, crochet items, and other fabric based items are a focus for 2018. However, there is only so much the three of us can get done.
Chris works full time, really only helping out with conventions and a bit of the prep work for different projects here and there. Allie's main focus is school, and her role with the store is rather small as she's learning the ropes. In addition to making everything in stock, as of now, I've been doing all of the marketing, bookkeeping, networking, and the like for the store. However, I've also been homeschooling both children, keeping house, and working the odd job here and there. Time's at a premium as it is, and we're trying to add new products.
As much as I have enjoyed writing the blog here, it takes up a lot of time without much return. Between the time it takes to test, adjust, and retest recipes, DIY projects, and tutorials, the blog here takes up several hours to a couple days a month. We've determined that time would be better used developing and making new products for the store. So this will be the last post.
From this point forward, store updates and fragrance introductions will be handled exclusively on our social media accounts. So if you want to keep up with them, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.
The blog as it is now will remain in place, so you will be able to go back to any of the recipes, DIYs, and tutorials already published.
What's Valentine's Day without something sweet and indulgent?
Last week I shared a classic and easy pasta dish for a holiday at home main course, and today's dessert makes for a perfect pairing. It's a new twist on the classic chocolate covered strawberries and an easy icebox cake.
With Valentine's Day coming up, I thought I would share a couple of recipes over the next week or so that can make for a special dinner at home. Let's start with a main course.
Pasta can be quick and easy while also being comforting, homey, and kind of impressive all at the same time. This makes a no fail pasta dish a no brainer for a Valentine's date at home, especially if you decided against getting a babysitter. In my experience, most children enjoy pasta, especially when the dish includes lots of melty cheese.
Admittedly, it's not as pretty or impressive as a classic lasagna. However, cavatini makes up for lacking in these areas by being flavor packed and easy to make. I've even managed to make a gluten free version that's quite tasty and has a good texture to it, at least the day its made.
General rule of thumb, don't make any gluten free pasta dish with the intention of having leftovers. It just does not reheat well, becoming either gummy or complete mush upon reheating. Its better to keep portions small enough to be finished in one meal.
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.
Valentine's Day is less than a month a way. Don't leave it to the last second to get something special for your honey or your home decor.
You can't go wrong with a classic design and scent combo like these Strawberries and Champaign soaps. They have a light, sweet, and almost creamy fragrance of fresh, sweetened strawberries and sparkling champaign.
Have you ever known someone who is incredibly picky? They could be a picky eater or have exacting taste in clothes. Maybe they'll leave a store if they don't like the way it smells or whine about hearing something you barely even notice.
These are some examples of symptoms expressed by those with sensory processing issues.
For those of you who have met me at conventions and asked why I started soaping, you probably were answered with something like, "Well, I figured I'd use this nose that causes migraines to good use." Or maybe I talked about how at least one of the four of us in our household would react poorly to all the soaps we tried from the store, so I decided to start making our own. Both are true, and both have the same root cause: not allergies, though those did play a role, but sensory processing problems.
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...
I posted a recipe for Pumpkin Cranberry rolls a few weeks back, but since then I began to wonder, how would cranberry rolls work out? So, I tried making some, and honestly, I kind of like them better than the pumpkin rolls.
Again, you will want to start by making the sweetened cream cheese filling and a batch of cranberry sauce. You can find both recipes here. Set the cream cheese filling aside. You'll want it to be at room temperature when spreading for best results.
Now for the cake...
Work has begun brainstorming and designing 2018's new nine, and we want to hear from you. Some of our customers expressed disappointment there currently aren't any villains in our fragrance line up, so 2018 will be the year of the villain, anti-hero, and those characters that straddle the line between hero and monster.
I could always just pack the list with my own favorites and call it a day, but I don't want to do that. You're the one I work for, after all, so I want to hear what you'd like to see.
Do you have a dastardly character you'd like to see in soap form or for whom you wish there was a fragrance? Comment down below or message me!
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...