Saturday, January 24, 2009

Brownie Layered Dessert

I found this wonderful dessert in a Taste of Home Magazine and just had to make it. Brownie Layered Dessert is a yummy brownie layered with cream cheese and chocolate pudding.

Ingredients: 2 boxes brownie mix

Filling: 2 packages cream cheese
(one 8 oz and 1 3 ounce), softened
2 cups confectioner's sugar
2 cups whipped topping
Topping: 2 cups cold milk
1 package (3.9) instant
chocolate pudding mix

Make brownies per the box directions. Pour into a 13x9 inch baking pan and bake per box directions 20-25 minutes or until toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack.

In a small bowl, beat the cream cheese and confectioner's sugar until smooth. Fold in whipped topping: spread over brownies.

In a large bowl, whisk milk and pudding mix for 2 minutes. Let stand for 2 minutes or until soft-set. Spread over filling. Refrigerate for 1 hour or until served.

Cut into squares, garnish with whipped topping and nuts , if desired. ( my kids won't eat it if nuts are in it, but walnuts would be a great addition.

This would make a great make-ahead dessert to take to family or church gatherings or office potlucks.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Featured Artist and Giveaway

My featured artist this month is Bad Cat Jewelry from San Antonio, Texas. Bad Cat Jewelry offers stunning handmade jewelry using sterling silver, vintage beads, lampwork, Swarovski crystal, and textiles. You can find Bad Cat Jewelry on Etsy, Artfire, 1000Markets, twitter, which links to her *new* blog:, and Flickr. If Bad Cat Jewelry is typed into Google, she will turn up. Bad Cat is also in the process of increasing her stock to sell at a crafter's market in February.

I recently spoke with Bad Cat via email and asked her a few questions...

What inspired you to begin creating jewelry? I needed an outlet when my husband was deployed. I put all the blame on my sister-in-law who got me back into beading (I did a little in college). Then I found out that our friends' child had been diagnosed with brain cancer, and I couldn't help them since I was so far away. So I decided to set up a little tiny business online and donate 10% of the profits to Specially for Children in Austin, Texas.

Where did you start and how did you learn to make the products you are creating today? I am totally self taught. I took one class, but it was basically what I had already taught myself.What are your favorite products to make? Anything that has been in my mind's eye. I love seeing an idea come into fruition and working.

What inspires you? Color and symmetry. I love playing with colors. Symmetry is very important to me. You probably won't see me using chips or oddly shaped stones in my pieces. I just can't do it.
What was your biggest handmade oops? Ummm...really just messing up with some sterling. That always irks me. I'm too impatient at times and just jump into a project without a practice run on some cheap wire.

How do you spend time when you are NOT creating? I would love to say I am an incredibly organized person who runs a perfect household. Its just not true. In my spare time I am trying to coax my active preschool boy into clothing, finding matching socks, and making sure shoes are on the correct feet. I am also trying to fix whatever toy is broken, building train tracks (I should have an engineering degree), cleaning up from little "helping" hands (Pinesol gets crayon out of the carpet), and explaining why the cat doesn't want to be dragged around by his tail.

I will be giving away of a pair of Bad Cats beautiful Pink Stacked Earrings, which are constructed using two fabulous, faceted pink stones on sterling silver headpins and attached to earwires. These earrings would make the perfect Valentine Gift for yourself or someone you love. To enter the giveaway simply go to Bad Cat's shop and to then leave a comment on this blog (please don't forget to leave contact info or I will have to choose a different winner because I won't be able to reach you) to tell me what your favorite item is in each shop is. The contest begins January 21 and will end February 4. I will have one of my lovely kiddos choose the lucky winner. The Earrings will ship in time to give as a Valentine gift.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Just wanted to share this heartfelt poem written by my beautiful 15 year old niece, Libby.

Now help me God
And listen well
This secret I'm about to tell
Is not the daily normal strife,
But about the truth of teenage life.
We teenagers think we know it all
We doubt that we will ever fall
But on our knees we find ourselves
On the paths of truth and heaven and hell.
Now the followers will take the path
Where Satan laughs his evil laugh
One more down he seems to say
As he goes looking for more prey.
Now the logical will take the path
Where there you stand as strong as staff
And bow our knees beneath your robe
And do exactly as we're told.
Now God my prayers just begun
We have the moon up until sun
I've got a lot my friend to say
In this bed of which I'll lay.
Now God we still have parents to
They tell us not and what to do
But we don't always listen right
We're all out getting drunk and high.
Cigarettes are a crime too
The ring of smoke that he just blew
I guess its just T.V these days
We've all become they're money slaves.
Now lets not forget those STD's
Where condoms failed to be the sleeve
Mommies and daddies at age of 12
Wow this world is going to hell.
So everyday we hear the news
Some drunk boy; hung up on booze
And tons of weed in the back of his car
Who knows who all he's sold it so far.
Now God come on are you kidding me?
Is this how life is supposed to be?
Now whoever knew it'd be so hard
For a teenager who's life's turned into shards?
So listen God and listen well
The secret that I had to tell
Is not about the normal strife
But the truth about a teenagers life.

Friday, January 2, 2009

A New Year and We've got New Products

Wow! Can you believe another year has passed? The older I get the faster they go by. Smokey Mountain Scents will be offering some new products this year. I thought I would give you a Sneak Peek at some things to come.

Margarita Dead Sea Salt Spa Bars will be available on February 1.

Salt Spa Bars are amazing. The produce a creamy lather while they gently exfoliate your skin to a smooth, polished sheen. These Salt Spa Bars have the added benefit of Dead Sea Salt.
Why are these types of salts beneficial?Because of all the wonderful minerals they contain.

* Magnesium is important for both combatting stress and fluid retention, slowing skin aging and calming the nervous system.
* Calcium is effective at preventing water retention, increasing circulation and strengthening bones and nails.
*Potassium energizes the body, helps to balance skin moisture and is a crucial mineral to replenish following intense exercise.
*Bromides act to ease muscle stiffness and relax muscles.
* Sodium is important for the lymphatic fluid balance.

You can see why I'm so excited about these wonderful soap bars!

I will also be introducing a new line of vegetable wax free standing Candles. I will have a variety of pillars and votives. These are in the testing phase and should be available in a few days.

Tulip Mottled Vegetable Wax Pillar

Stay tuned....I will be adding lots of new goodies this year!

We are expanding also. You will still be able to find Smokey Mountain Scents at our etsy shop and at our new studio at and also at our market in . Hope to see you there.