Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Giving Thanks

Thanksgiving is upon us. On Facebook, a lot of my friends have been giving thanks (via their status updates). I’ve already had one Thanksgiving themed storytime this week, and will have another tomorrow. Everyone is talking about their plans for the holiday. It’s no surprise, then, that Thanksgiving is on my mind this week.

A short list of things for which I am thankful:

  • A loving and wonderful husband
  • An adorable puppyboy (even if he is a bit crazy)
  • Being employed in a career that I enjoy
  • My family
  • My friends
  • Books (what would my life be without books?)
  • Having a home
So tell me, what are you thankful for?

Friday, November 20, 2009


I subscribe to too many recipe type emails. Most of these emails are from companies like Betty Crocker and Pillsbury. You can imagine what kind of trouble that can cause. Yummy, delicious trouble, like the cake I made this past week. I’m drooling just thinking about it. I still have half of the cake left in my fridge, just waiting for the final toppings of cool whip (not sure why I bothered with lite cool whip) and toffee and chocolate crumbles.

The recipe will be pasted below, as well as the link for it. I’ll take some pics tonight when I add those final two ingredients…both before and after I dig in. When I do, I’ll add them to this post.

Better-Than-Almost-Anything Cake

The combination of rich ingredients produces a decadent, caramel-soaked cake that's sure to be a hit!

Prep Time: 10 min
Total Time: 3 hours 3 min
Makes: 15 servings

217 Ratings
56 Reviews

1 box Betty Crocker® SuperMoist® German chocolate cake mix
Water, vegetable oil and eggs called for on cake mix box
1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk
1 jar (16 to 17 oz) caramel, butterscotch or fudge topping
1 container (8 oz) frozen whipped topping, thawed
1 bag (8 oz) toffee chips or bits

1. Heat oven to 350°F (325°F for dark or nonstick pan). Bake cake as directed on box for 13x9-inch pan.
2. Poke top of warm cake every 1/2 inch with handle of wooden spoon. Drizzle milk evenly over top of cake; let stand until milk has been absorbed into cake. Drizzle with caramel topping. Run knife around sides of pan to loosen cake. Cover and refrigerate about 2 hours or until chilled.
3. Spread whipped topping over top of cake. Sprinkle with toffee chips. Store covered in refrigerator.
High Altitude (3500-6500 ft): Follow High Altitude directions on cake mix box.

Make the Most of This Recipe With Tips From The Betty Crocker® Kitchens
The cake may stick to the wooden spoon handle while you’re using it to make the holes, so occasionally wipe off the handle.

Did You Know...
The caramel topping will be easier to drizzle if it has been kept at room temperature. If refrigerated, remove the lid and microwave on High about 15 seconds.

Special Touch
Instead of the toffee chips or bits, coarsely chop 5 bars (1.4 oz each) chocolate-covered English toffee candy, and sprinkle on top of the cake.

Nutrition Information:
1 Serving: Calories 510 (Calories from Fat 190); Total Fat 21g (Saturated Fat 9g, Trans Fat 0g); Cholesterol 60mg; Sodium 480mg; Total Carbohydrate 75g (Dietary Fiber 1g, Sugars 57g); Protein 6g Percent Daily Value*: Vitamin A 4%; Vitamin C 0%; Calcium 15%; Iron 4% Exchanges: 1 1/2 Starch; 3 1/2 Other Carbohydrate; 0 Vegetable; 4 Fat Carbohydrate Choices: 5
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

NOTE: I added some mini chocolate chips to the cake. Yum! I wonder how much better the cake would be if a dark chocolate cake mix was use. Hrm....

knitting photos! yay!

Here are a few photos of my current knitting project. Usually I say I don't like to commit to the outcome of my projects until they are finished. This time I am committing. It is a hat for a friend at work who is going through chemo treatments.

See the pretty eyelets? Note the red circle (it's a stich marker) that I borrowed off of my friend Jen (or Jen Knitty as she is named in my cell phone).

See the pretty eyelets?

This is what I get for laughing at the image of bunches of nekkid baby alpacas roaming the Andes Mountains. A very tangled skein of 100% Baby Alpaca yarn. :/

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Gold Who?

Since I’ve started selling Gold Canyon (about two and a half months ago), I’ve often been asked about the company. It seems a lot of people in my area haven’t heard of them! There are a lot of direct sales companies that sell candles and other accessories, but Gold Canyon has been slowly becoming more known in this part of the country. In fact, just last week I heard that there are only about 50 demonstrators in West Virginia and a few hundred in Pennsylvania (the company representative didn’t have the stats for Ohio on hand, not realizing that someone from that state would be at the meeting). That’s a relatively low number of demonstrators. No wonder it seems like no one here has heard of Gold Canyon.

If you would like to know more about the company, and how it was started, click here to learn more.

I will admit that, not too long ago, I was one of those people. I had never heard of the company until my friend Sharon signed up with them about a year ago. In fact, when I signed up to sell their products, I had never even sampled one! There was a great opportunity to sign up for only about $20, and Sharon needed one more recruit to make the next level, so I signed up. Once my first products arrived, I was hooked.

I have a confession to make.

I am a candle sniffer. Yes. One of those people you can catch in the stores sniffing all of the candles on the shelf.

Or, at least that was me. The candles on store shelves don’t hold a light to the quality of Gold Canyon’s products. There are so many different scents and items to choose from, Gold Canyon truly is a candle sniffer’s dream come true!

Now nearly every day after work, I come home and light a candle (or few). Right now I have three going. A delicious Oatmeal Raisin Cookie and a delightful Cinnamon Vanilla in the living room, and a mouthwatering Pomegranate in the upstairs bathroom. My house smells wonderful.

Knit one, purl two

I’m a knitter. Somewhat. I am often hesitant to refer to myself as a knitter or to tell people how long I’ve been knitting (since fall of 2004), because then it’s assumed that I know what I am doing. I don’t. Far from it. I can read patterns. I know some things about different fibers and weights. But I forget some semi-simple things, like how to make eyelets or decrease.

For instance, I am making a hat for a friend. It’s made out of 100 % baby alpaca (from Knitpicks.com). I often chuckle when thinking of this yarn, as warped me imagines little naked baby alpacas roaming the Andes Mountains. Anyhow… There is no pattern as I am just making it up as I go along. I made a similar hat last year, yet I had to ask my kitty friends how to make the eyelets (again). I’m sure they realize that soon I’ll be asking how to decrease…again.

I do love playing with yarn. While I’m fairly certain I will never make a sweater (or any other major article of clothing), I have fun attempting to knit new things and encouraging my friends in our yarn obsession.

Let’s get this party started…

I’m having a party on Saturday night. It’s for the Gold Canyon business, and I am calling it a Holiday Shopping Spree. I will be highlighting the holiday scents and decorations. I’m not sure how many people to expect, which makes providing refreshments a little tricky.

Plans for refreshments:

  • Assorted Appetizers (from Sam’s club)
  • Assorted cheese and crackers
  • Some type of baked goods – something Christmassy.
  • Assorted beverages – water, milk, teas, wine(?). I don’t drink pop, so I usually don’t buy it.

Even though the hubby and I are firm believers in no Christmas decorations before Thanksgiving, I’ve started putting up a few in the living room. A mini tree here. A snowman there. Nothing major, and more than likely all of the decorations I will do this year.

The next tricky part of hosting a party – at least for me – is getting the house in proper order! This is harder than usual, as last weekend I decided that the wall paper in our kitchen needed to come down. This means the kitchen is in semi-shambles. It won’t be painted until after this weekend’s shindig. I’m sure people will survive that little mess. Thankfully I am off on Saturday and will have time to get all the last minute details completed.

My to-do list:

  • Sam’s club trip
  • Clean upstairs bathroom
  • Mop hall
  • Vacuum rugs
  • Clear and set dining area table
  • Put away excess Gold Canyon boxes and supplies
  • Clear off computer tables
  • Laundry
  • Dishes
  • Put together free gifts for attendees
  • Check stock and catalogs
  • Take out cash from the bank
  • Breathe and relax

I’m sure there is something I’m missing.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

A HodgePodge...

What is a hodgepodge? According to good old Merriam Webster, it's "a heterogeneous mixture; a jumble."

Why HodgePodge? The purpose of this blog is to be a place for me to share a mixture of thoughts, articles, recipes, crafts, etc., etc., etc.

I've a variety of interests. Some could say that I am a collector of hobbies. They would more than likely be correct. Over the years, I have tried my hand at many things - knitting, baking, cooking, writing, painting, scrapbooking...the list goes on and on. Many of these are things I still do from time to time.

I'm a librarian by trade, so do a lot of reading. It's an occupational hazard. If I hadn't fallen into this career, I would have probably ended up in some sort of culinary field. As it is, I have done some catering, and would love to do that again sometime.

I also sell for Gold Canyon. The company has a variety of candles and accessories, eco-friendly cleaning products, a line of skin care products and more. While every post will not be an advertisement for GC items, from time to time I will mention some of my favorite things.

So, welcome to my little hodgepodge corner where you will find a variety of topics. Feel free to comment or just say hi.