Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Snickerdoodle Bars

I brought these on a picnic this summer  because they were easy to make. But as I said with the pie I posted snickerdoodle pie - I think these are a good for autumn and winter.  These are a cross between a snickerdoodle cookie and blondies. 

2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp salt
2 cups brown sugar
1 cup softened butter
2 eggs
1 tbsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp white sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
a pinch ground nutmeg

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9x13 pan. Combine flour baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt and set aside.

In a large bowl, beat together butter and brown sugar for 3-5 minutes. Add in the eggs one at a time, then the vanilla, and beat until smooth.

Stir in the flour mixture until well blended. Spread evenly in prepared pan. Combine the granulated sugar, cinnamon, and pinch of nutmeg in a little bowl. Evenly sprinkle cinnamon sugar mixture over the top of the batter.

Bake 25-30 minutes or until surface springs back when gently pressed. Cool before cutting. Makes 20-24 bars.

It is a thicker batter almost like a cookie. I had to press it lightly into the pan.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

How to Wash Pillows

Pillows spend a lot of time under your head so it can be gross to think about them not being washed.  They really need to be washed occasionally. Pillows should be washed at least every 6 months. But I usually wash mine once a season. If you have multiple pillows rotating them helps prolong their life and determines how often needing washing. If after washing, there are still odors that linger then it is time to replace pillows. 

First check the label of your pillow to find out if there are any care instructions and what the pillow is filled with so you know how to wash it.

Such as, polyester fiber pillows can be cleaned in a washing machine, while goose down and feather pillows are a little harder to clean but many are still machine washable. Down or feather pillows will break down over many washing and so you will need to either add more down/feathers or replace them.  Foam pillows such as Memory Foam should be hand washed and not put in the dryer. 

You can wash pillows by hand but it does take more work and time. My tips and instructions are for machine washable pillows. 

* Wash pillows without pillowcases or protective coverings on them. 
*  Fill the washer with HOT water. Hot water kills germs and dust mites.
* Use a mild liquid detergent such as Woolite rather then a powder or other liquid detergents which leave soapy residue behind. 
* Place 2 pillows in the washer so that the machine is balanced
* Run through gentle or delicate cycle 
* Add 1/4 cup of vinegar to the rinse cycle. It will help with disinfecting and also help remove soapy residue. 
* If there is a soapy residue left after the cycles have ended, do one more rinse cycle and that should take care of any soap left.  
* If pillows are still extremely wet after cycle is done. Do another spin cycle to help remove the excess water.

* Remove from washing machine and press excess water by placing it between 2  thick towels. Do not twist or wring especially with feather pillows as you will smash not fluff the feathers. 
* Place the 2 pillows in the dryer and put on air-dry for feather or down pillows and poly fiber pillows should be on a low-heat setting. The higher heat can cause the pillow filling to clump together.  If it is a nice sunny day you can hang outside to dry. 
* Stop the dryer every so often to fluff. Or you can put a couple of tennis balls in the dryer to keep the pillows fluffy. Make sure you put each tennis ball into a white tube sock so that the dyes in the tennis ball don't transfer to the pillow.  Honestly though I don't like the sound the tennis balls make while in the dryer so I just hand fluff every so often. 

Sometimes the pillows just need a little bit of fluffing between washing. I use a spray bottle filled with equal parts of  hot water and vinegar and then 10 to 20 drops of essential oils. I use whatever essential oil I am in the mood for - lavender, tea tree, peppermint, lemon, orange, or rosemary (all of these have disinfecting qualities to them)....usually using a combination of 2.  Remove pillow protectors and use spray all over the pillows so that they are fairly saturated. Throw the pillows into the dryer on low-heat setting. Fluffing every so often. 

Friday, February 24, 2012

Friday Favorites

 A Quicker Way to Clean House -  An article where 3 Pro's were asked about house cleaning solutions
Facial Moisturizer - Homemade facial moisturizer
Savory Sausage and White Bean Stew with Crispy Sage Topping - sounds delicious
Make Your Own Dinnerware - using a marker for dishes you write on the plates and then bake it to set it
Eating Near Poverty Line @ Whole Foods Market - this blog post I thought was interesting.  A family of 3 used the USDA "Thrifty Budget" for one month and it talks about the experience.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Breakfast Pockets

I made the recipe without many changes, but when I make them next time I would like to try another dough recipe as 1/2 cup vegetable oil seems like a lot to me. But the dough baked nice and an even better trait of the dough was when they were reheated in the microwave straight from the freezer they seem to keep moisture and not become dried out.  Sometimes bread can dry out coming straight from the freezer to microwave. These were a hit and nice to just warm up in the morning - especially when on the go.


1 1/2 tblsp yeast
1/2 c warm water (110 degrees)
3/4 c evaporated milk (110 degrees)
1/2 c vegetable oil
1/4 c sugar
1 egg
1 tsp salt
3 1/2 c flour

1 lb bulk breakfast sausage
1/4 cup onion, chopped
1 1/2 cups frozen hashbrown potatoes, thawed
1/4 cup bell peppers, chopped
1/4 cup mushrooms
7 large eggs
3 tblsp milk
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder
pinch of cayenne pepper
1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded


In a bowl, dissolve yeast in the water. Add milk, oil, sugar, egg, salt, and 2 cups flour; beat until smooth. Add enough flour until it makes a soft dough but do not knead. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.  (OR add ingredients in order manufacturer recommends to bread machine and select dough setting. Take out, put in bowl, cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about an hour.)

Cook the sausage and onion over medium heat until almost browned. Add bell pepper and mushrooms. Cook until sausage is browned and veggies are tender.  Drain. Add the hashbrowns, eggs, milk, and spices. Cook and stir until set. Sprinkle with cheese and keep warm.

Assembling the pockets:
Preheat oven to 350°.
Punch down the dough and cut into 16 equal pieces. Roll each piece into 7 in circle on a floured surface. Top with 1/3 c filling, fold, and pinch shut. Bake for 15-20 minutes.

To freeze:
Allow to cool on the baking sheet. Once cooled, place in the freezer until frozen. Store in a ziploc bag in the freezer for 3-6 months. To reheat, place on a paper towel and microwave for 1 1/2-2 minutes.

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Friday, February 10, 2012

Friday Favorites

Weekly Menus - it not only is weekly menus, but shopping list and recipes to go with the menus
Fast Customer - This is only available for United States and Canada - no more waiting on hold for Customer Service...this app will connect you to customer service reps without waiting on the line. I am not sure if it is available for anything other then iPhone but felt it was too good to not post.
Southwest Turkey Meatballs with Cilantro Dipping Sauce
Decals on Canisters - step by step instructions on how to make them and apply them and even make the decals dishwasher safe.
Couponing for Beginners - from Frugal Girls - they have a coupon database on their website.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Dirty laundry

Danae asked me to share a post I had written about my love of laundry.

One of the first things that stopped my owner in his tracks is when he saw that I had two books on laundry on my 'service' bookshelves. It's one of my favorite chores.

I perform valet services as well as laundering. That includes laying out his clothes on a daily basis, providing at least twice a week changes of fresh sheets and towels (pillowcases are changed out more frequently) and providing a change of comfortable clothes after work if he wants, including fresh socks since he doesn't wear slippers. It also includes being available to serve as his barber or provide a hot towel shave and facial massage. I also assist in dressing him in the mornings if I am available, or in the evenings before we go out.

As for the laundry, some of my favorite tips:

  • We use homemade laundry detergent.
  • I have a solid understanding of fabric types including specialty fibers such as cashmere, and how to launder them from my fiber arts.
  • I tend to run loads according to the fabric type (for temperature and level of agitation) and color, and save handwash items to do in a batch at one time.
  • When transferring items to the dryer, I try to snap them out so the items are not wadded up.
  • I don't overdry items.
  • I never use fabric softener with towels or items intended to be absorbent.
  • Often, the only softener I'll use is diluted vinegar.
  • Unmatched items are not placed back into the drawers until they are paired up again.
  • My preference is to fold things right away if possible.
  • If items are worn to the point where they need to be replaced, I bring it to his attention. It's his call if he wants new ones purchased.
  • I monitor seasonal items and launder/store them as needed.
  • I also can perform bootblacking and leather care.

He's very appreciative. He's commented on how much softer and more absorbent his towels are and how much he enjoys sliding into fresh, crisp sheets on a far more regular basis than he was used to.

He's never short on clean items to wear, never has to fish around in a drawer for matching socks, and enjoys that he doesn't have to manage when and how the laundry gets done.

Fresh bedding, changes of clothing and clean towels just somehow happen. :)

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Snickerdoodle Pie

I  made pie yesterday - pumpkin because I had several cans of pumpkin in my pantry that I want to start using. But  I really wanted to make this pie because I have been craving it.  I love all things Snickerdoodle.  This pie is very good - but it is more like a cake in a pie crust.  It is a good  pie for autumn and winter. 

Adapted from BHG 

Crust Layer: 
1 Single-Crust Pie Pastry or 1 rolled refrigerated unbaked piecrust 
1 tbsp. granulated sugar 
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon 
2 tsp. butter, melted 

1/2 cup packed brown sugar 
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon 
1/4 cup butter 
3 tbsp. water 
2 tbsp. light-colored corn syrup 
1/2 tsp. vanilla 

Pie Filling/Batter: 
1/4 cup butter, softened 
1/2 cup granulated sugar 
1/4 cup powdered sugar 
1 tsp. baking powder 
1/4 tsp. salt 
1/4 tsp. cream of tartar 
1 egg 
1/2 cup milk 
1 tsp. vanilla 
1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour 

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare pastry and line 9-inch pie plate. In bowl combine sugar and 1/2 tsp. cinnamon. Brush melted butter over crust. Sprinkle with 1 tsp. of cinnamon-sugar mixture. Set aside. 

2. For syrup, in saucepan combine brown sugar, 1/4 cup butter, the water, corn syrup, and 1/4 tsp. cinnamon. Heat to boiling over medium heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. Boil gently for 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in 1/2 tsp. vanilla. Set aside. 

3. For pie batter, bowl beat 1/4 cup softened butter with electric mixer on medium speed for 30 seconds in a mixing bowl. Beat in granulated sugar, powdered sugar, baking powder, salt, and cream of tartar until well combined. Beat in egg and 1 tsp. vanilla. Gradually beat in milk until combined. Beat in flour. Spread evenly in crust-lined pie plate. 

4. Slowly pour syrup over the filling in pie plate. Sprinkle with remaining cinnamon-sugar mixture. Cover edges of pie with foil. 

5. Bake pie 25 minutes; carefully remove foil. Bake about 20 minutes more or until top is puffed and golden brown, and a toothpick inserted near center comes out clean. Cool 30 minutes on wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature. Makes 10 servings. 

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Friday, February 3, 2012

Friday Favorites

Homemade Vapor Rub  - Not a lot of ingredients and easy to make.
Homemade Wrinkle Release Spray  - I haven't ever bought the commercial brand stuff but my sister uses it all the time as she hates to iron so making it homemade would save money.  I can see where having some on hand would be nice for those moments when you realize that shirt you are wanting to wear right now has been buried in the bottom of a drawer.
Hungarian Beef Goulash - a warm stick to your bones kind of recipe
Keep Wrapping Paper Neat - this is one of those tips that I look and go - I wish I would have thought of that years ago
Painting Kitchen Cabinets  - I like the look of these cabinets and would love to do that with the kitchen cabinets

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Guest Post: Pack like a Pro and Other OCD Tips

Is packing intimidating to you? Do you avoid it till the last minute because it is just too overwhelming? Do you find yourself repeatedly on vacation with no underwear and eight pairs of socks? Never again! Take my hand – we can get thru this together!

First off you need a spreadsheet. This is a NEED not a want. Just trust me. Don’t be afraid. You do not have to color code it or do anything fancy, that is for the advanced course. I use Google Docs because it is web based and can be shared with others. That way your owner can review it and add or delete. AND, you can copy it and adjust it for different trips.

Now think. What kind of trip is this? Camping? Conference? Vacation? Work? Will you have electricity (will you need a voltage converter)? Do you have to prepare meals? Will there be special clothing needs (formal, costume, sports)? What will the weather be like? How long is the trip? If this seems overwhelming don’t worry we will take it one day at a time. No, I mean it. Really . . .

Are you as excited as I am? Of course you are! Let’s get started.

On the first page I like to include a section for Transportation, Accommodations and other information like contact numbers of those I am traveling with and their travel and accommodations.

Under Transportation you might include:

flight confirmation numbers
flight numbers and times
rental car confirmation numbers
numbers for local taxi
phone number of accommodations if they provide free transfers
address of your destinations (through the trip)

Under Accommodations you might want to include:

hotel confirmations numbers
address and phone of hotel
address of place near by you may need like; grocery, drug store, liquor store, beauty shop.

OK now you are there safe and sound! What to wear? Start a new page and make a column or list for each day of your trip.

Will the weather be warmer or colder where you are heading? Think about what you will be doing. Tonight you might be going to a formal dinner. Picture yourself getting ready . . .(dream sequence)

You are wearing your little black dress, definitely need the super tummy holding in panties for this or, will someone be seeing those panties later? Better to go with the sexy ones then. Eeks - bra straps - toss that one to the side and get the strapless. Nylons . . . no thigh highs – need a garter belt, grrr a run - good thing you brought an extra pair! Add your heels - think ahead a little - can you choose a pair that will go with another outfit? Now that you look beautiful grab your little evening bag and wrap as you head out the door. And when you get back from your awesome evening, will you visit the hot tub or just slip into jammies? So your day one clothing list might look like this:


comfy travel pants
comfy bra and panties
socks (remember you have to take your shoes off in security if you are flying)
comfy shoes
travel bag (spreadsheet with travel info, tickets, ID/passport, purse, snacks, reading material, travel pillow/blanket, etc.)


black dress
strapless bra
black lace panties
2 pair thigh highs
garter belt
evening bag
wrap or sweater

swim suit
cover up
slippers or flip flops


Go through this process again for hair and make up. Do you need something special for your hair? Will you do false eyelashes? Chip a nail? Headache or catch a cold on the trip? Once you have this list you can use it for every trip and refine and add things as you learn you need them. No worries if you forget something in the beginning, you have the address of a nearby drug store remember?

Use this same method when packing for someone else. Picture their process getting ready and all the little things that might go wrong. It is so satisfying to have that one thing they did not know they would need.

The process also works for food, camping supplies, any trip you can think of. There are also many packing lists online you can compare with yours. Packing this way is so much fun and every time you have something you need in a pinch, you get to do a tush wiggling happy dance!

BIO: My name is Lacey. I am is a service submissive from the Baltimore Maryland area. I have been in service to the same Master for four years and am constantly striving to find new fun ways to please Him.  I have presented classes on Service Submission, Mental Orgasm, Rope Bottoming and others at Atlanta Bound IV 2011, Duck Stock Lite 2009, 2010 Duck Stock 2010, 2011 and Frolicon 2011. I love to share my passion for service! You are welcome to contact me any time on Fetlife or email


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