Scottish Oatcakes

I was cleaning out my old room at my parent’s house and I found a pile of papers with recipes on it.

What is this?

I have no clue where this came from, but it sounded good and easy to make. And perfect for tea! (You know me, I’m always looking for something new for tea time.)

Ingredients:

  • 1 Cup of Rolled Oats
  • 1/3 Cup of Flour
  • 1/2 Tsp of Sugar
  • 1/4 Tsp of Salt
  • 1/4 Tsp of Baking Soda
  • 1/4 Cup of Unsalted Butter, Cut into Pieces
  • 2-3 Tbsps of Water
  • Honey (Optional)
  • Marmalade (optional)

Directions:

  1. Preheat Oven to 325 degrees F
  2. In a food processor fitted with metal blades, process oats to a fine meal.
  3. Add the flour, sugar, salt, baking soda, and butter.
  4. Process briefly to mix well.
  5. With motor running add 2-3 tbsps of water and process 20 seconds to form a crumbly dough.
  6. Add as much water as needed to achieve the desired texture.
  7. Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured work surface.
  8. Knead a couple of times to incorporate any crumbs, then form into a ball.
  9. Cut in half.
  10. Using a rolling pin, roll out each half into rounds 6 inches wide an 1/4 inch thick.
  11. Crimp edges with your finger and thumb to make a fluted border.
  12. Using a metal spatula, transfer he rounds to a baking sheet and cut into four equal wedges. separate the wedges slightly then prick the top of each one 3 or 4 times with a fork.
  13. Bake until pale and tan and no longer soft (about 25-30 mins)
  14. Transfer the oatcakes to a wire rack to cool.
  15. Serve with honey or marmalade, if desired.
  16. Makes about 8.

So the first one is when I didn’t pay close attention to the recipe, while the second is from following the directions.

These were fantastic! So good, and perfect with your tea!

I would ground the oats in the processor or blender, but when you get to the water just put it in a bowl and use your hands.  Otherwise, delicious!

For more recipes, go to Earl Grey Infused Blueberry Smoothie

For more items to go with your cup of tea, go to Carrot Oatmeal Muffins

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Non-Austen Reads for Austen Readers: Suitors and Sabotage

So this is something I started a while back. Sometimes you want more Austen books after you have read all her books. There are variations on her stories, but sometimes you don’t want to read the same story. You want Austen-like works, but what to read or watch?

Hmmm…

That’s why I started this series. I will review books that have the things we love about the Austen novels, but in something fresher than a retelling.

Suitors and Sabotage by Cindy Anstey

So we added this book to the library last July and I was very interested in reading it, but had too many books on my to-read list. I decided to read it at a later time, you know what I’m talking about.

I first became interested in the book because of the cover, I know-we aren’t supposed to, but it is so beautiful.

Then I looked at the back and saw:

“…Jane Austen spiced with action, suspense, and humor.”

“Jane Austen fans in need of a good book look no further.”

“It’s Jane Austen meets Jane Foster…”

After that I HAD to read it, if it is recommended for Austen fans-here we go.

Gracebridge Manor in Fotheringham, Kent -1817

Miss Imogene Chively has returned from her London season a success, or so her family believes. Imogene did not enjoy the parties, being on display, etc.

Hopefully, she will not have to go back as she has a suitor- a Mr. Ernest Steeple. He’s very, very interested in her and about to visit and stay a few weeks.

Imogene is a very shy and not looking forward to him coming, but at least she will be home.

I don’t want to do this

She an her friend Miss Emily Beeswanger (what a name!) are relaxing outside the ruins of the nearby castle, when Imogene’s dog puts himself in danger. They try to get him back, but he won’t listen!

Oh no!

But in the end they are assisted by a handsome young man.

After he saves their dog, the man introduces himself as Benjamin “Ben” Steeple, the younger brother of Ernest. He has accompanied him, and the two arrived early. Mr. Chively, Imogene’s father, is monopolizing Ernest, so Ben decided to check out the castle ruins. Ben is studying to be an architect and could not pass up the opportunity.

Sorry, I have it in my media library and had to use it.

Benjamin joins the ladies for a picnic and Emily sets her cap for the charming, flirtatious, dashing man. Emily went with Imogene for the London season, but did not have anyone interested in her. She’s feeling like a failure and this handsome man seems to be the answer to her wish to be married.

Emma Woodhouse from Emma (1996) AKA the Kate Beckinsale version

Imogene’s dog, Jasper, takes off into the old ruins, again, and Ben helps save him for Imogene. They end up bringing part of the castle down and destroying their clothes in the process (not like they are naked bit that those clothes can never be fixed to be in their previous condition ever again).

Ben goes to change before dinner and encourage his brother. Ernest is over the moon about Imogene but feels disheartened as he is trying to spend time with her, but has only been spending time with the dad. He’s worried he won’t have anything to converse with her, so Ben tells him to talk about Joseph Turner.

Uh, excuse me…his name is Joseph Mallard William Turner. Sorry if my art history is showing, but he did make beautiful paintings. They were large “romantic” pieces of art. We studied Slave Ship, Slavers Throwing Overboard the Dead and Dying, Typhoon Coming On, in my class but they wouldn’t have seen that painting as it wasn’t done until 1840.

Anyways…

Anyways…sorry for that derail.

So the brothers are some of the best parts of the book as it is fun to read their interactions as they mess with each other. For instance Ben tells Mr. Chively that Ernest likes economics and Mr. Chively spends the whole night talking his ear off about banking and interest.

I’m so bored….BEN! THIS IS ALL YOUR FAULT!

Ben, however, spends the night talking to Imogene and Emily and enjoys conversing with both women. He’s a major flirt and loves charming the ladies.

Ugh!!

Imogene finds herself feeling uncertain as she is in a place she has never been before. She knows that Ernest likes her…but all this attention-could Ben have feelings for her too? Are two brothers fighting over her?

But then Emily points out all the attention Ben has been giving her and the way he has been treating her. Could this be worse than she thought, could he like both Imogene and Emily?

After the two talk, Imogene becomes convinced that Ben is just flirting and charming both of them (very Frank Churchill). Imogene is a little saddened at that, but Emily will not give up. She wants Ben and practices her best flirtations in order to win his heart.

The next morning, Ernest is taken off by Imogene’s father to go fishing, while Ben gets to spend the morning with her. He is doing his best to extol his brother’s virtues, but finds himself holding her hands longer than necessary and thinking more about her than his brother.

Wow, Ben, really? Your brother’s girl! You know he’s into her. And he’s your BROTHER!!!!!

Forget you!

They spend time together, but then Imogene goes to give Emily’s sister, Harriet, her drawing lessons.

Afterwards, she finds Emily decked out in her most flattering gown, ready for Ben’s return-you know pulling a Sandy.

Besides the Beeswanger family, and the Steeples, the Tabards are also staying with the Chivelys. Mrs. Chively, Mrs. Beeswanger, and Mrs. Tabard were very close friends, and relatives. Mrs. Tabard passed away and since then Mr. Tabard has been a ghost of the man he once was. His son Jake has become an incorrigible prankster-pairing up with Imogene’s older brother Percy.

Ben has a horrible secret and admits it to Imogene. He wants to be an architect more than anything in the world, but he cannot draw! He begs her for lessons and to keep his secret. It makes Imogene feel special as her family doesn’t care about art and she begins lessons with him.

OKaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay! Red flag number 2!!! Liar, secret keeping, your only role is to make HIM better. Imogene, walk away-walk away!!!

That evening Ernest and Imogene finally have a chance to spend time together. Ernest tries to talk about Turner, but can’t. He admits he knows little of painting and that he is a…reader. Not of poems or essays…but…literature.

A handsome, kind, caring, rich man who loves to read?

I’m with Mrs. Bennet!

He’s PERFECT!!! He’s the mythical unicorn!!!!!

Imogene begins to enjoy Ernest’s company just as much as Ben’s and finds herself in a real quandary. She likes Ernest and Ben, but she can’t have both so which brother will she choose?

But before Imogene’s heart can tell her the path to take-some strange things start happening. Her jewelry is found in Ben’s room, then a burr is under his saddle and almost kills him, the castle starts falling down as well, and more. Someone is after Ben, but who?

A MYSTERY!!! You know what that means…

Mystery, you say? I’m on the case

To further complicate this midsummer nights comedy of errors; Ernest and Ben both like Imogene, Emily likes Ben, Jake seems to be interested in Emily, and Imogene doesn’t know which man she wants.

Uhhhh…

And who is doing all these mysterious things? Could it be Percy or Jake, taking their “jokes” too far? Could it be Emily, who is after Ben-maybe trying to dissuade him from Imogene? Or could it be Ernest who wants to take Ben out of the running for Imogene’s heart?

Thoughts After Reading:

This book was pretty enjoyable for the most part. I thought the beginning and middle were really good. The parts that kind of turned me off was when the story began to drag on with the constant back and forth of Imogene trying to decide on a guy.

Which one, which one…

It really bothered me too how both men laughed off Imogene’s fear. I mean come on guys, there is too much happening for it be an “accident”. Seriously dudes.

Come on guys!

There is also a weird part when Imogene accuses Ernest of doing all these things to Ben and Ben becomes furious. She is in shock about how “unreasonable” he is and hopes to never see that “unreasonable” side again. Ugh, girl please-you just accused his brother of trying to kill him. If someone said that to me about my sister I would have flipped a table at them. How dare you!!!

That’s my sibling!

But really, whether you will love or hate this book will boil down to one thing-which guy you like better. It is a tale as old as Fritz and Ernst (The Swiss Family Robinsons) or modern day-Dean and Sam (Supernatural). You have two guys who are amazing guys-both nice, brave, good people. One is more of an introvert, one more of an extrovert; one slightly more brawny, one slightly more brainy; etc. And you can only choose one!

Who would I pick? I really liked Ernest. I thought he was kind, caring, sweet-loved that he was a reader and found him to be like Mr. Tilney-comfortable, a novel reader, and just fun.

Ben, on the other hand, I could not stand. He made me think of Frank Churchill, a charmer-all fluff, and no substance. I really felt that Ben picked up on how Imogene feels ignored and not valued for her art and really  played on that manipulating her into being with him so he can use her artistic ability to further his career. I hate charming flirts-they are such jerks so I didn’t want her with him, I wanted Ernest!!! But hey that’s just me-you might feel differently.

Plus, 100000000000000000000000000000000x points: Ernest has read all the Jane Austen  novels.

What?

For more non-Austen reads for Austen readers, Non-Austen Reads for Austen Readers: A Love for Keeps

For mysteries, go to Suspense & Sensibility (Or First Impressions Revisited)

For more Young Adult books, go to Prom & Prejudice

 

Desire & Decorum: Chapter 4, Best Foot Forward Part II

Sorry all, it’s been a while since I’ve had a chance to post. There are just so many things…I’m swamped.

So quick review: In this game you are the illegitimate daughter if the Earl of Edgewater, something you discover on your mother’s deathbed. You meet your father and he accepts you and wants to make you his legal heir, as your half-brother passed away.

You have an evil stepmother and conniving stepbrother, with a dim fiancé. They are plotting against you.

In the last episode your father and grandmother planned a garden party for you. You learned to dance properly, and was having a great time with Mr. Sinclaire. He asks you to play nine pins with him, but I had run out of enough diamonds to purchase the event. I had to wait until I had earned 30 diamonds.

So was it worth the wait? Let’s see?

So Mr. Sinclaire explains the game to you and we are ready to go:

How well you do depends on how close you paid attention to the rules of playing. I did really well and ended up winning the game!

Yay!!!

Your grandmother interrupts you with the Duke’s entrance. After your grandmother’s big to-do about him I was expecting someone more…favorable. Most of these games give you multiple choices of who you want to be with-but the Duke is a total jerk!!!

He seems to like me a lot-which pleases my grandmother and father-but eeyuck! I don’t want him.

This dude

Miss Parsons and I talk about it after and she asks me to join her for a walk but I decline. One, I have no more diamonds to purchase that option, and two-I do need to do my duty and be a good hostess. I mean how would it look if I walked out on a party given in my honor?

Later Mr. Sinclaire asks me to dance and I blow him away with my prowess, thanks to Miss Parsons and her amazing teaching skills! (And my shoes).

I am definitely liking Mr. Sinclaire the most. I think he is rather fun. 🙂

Afterwards my father surprises me with the fact that he has made me his official legal heir I will be going off to London to have a season, (and hook a man).

Will it be a success? Or a flop? Tune in next time to find out!

For more on Desire & Decorum, go to Desire & Decorum: Chapter 4, Best Foot Forward Part I

For more from Choices, go to Desire & Decorum: Chapter 3, Threading the Needle

13 Films to Watch on Valentine’s Day If You Are in An Anti-Romance Mood

So I wasn’t originally going to post anything for Valentine’s Day, I’m just not in the mood. Some of you know my story, for those who don’t, go to Plot Twist.

Meh.

But then I was looking through my drafts, and I spotted this one. The idea of a list of films to watch on Valentine’s Day when you are not in a romantic mood was born last year, but I never had a chance to flesh it out so I didn’t post it. However, it is perfect for this year! So even though we will not be having our usual Romance is in the Air: 14 Days, 14 Romantic Moments in film and TV, we will still have something.

Some of us just get in an unromantic mood during Valentine’s Day. Sometimes it is because of a bad relationship, sometimes it’s because you aren’t a romantic person, sometimes it is just Valentine’s Day itself that sets you off.

So I decided that instead of doing a romantic moment, that I would list thirteen films for you who are anti-romance this “season” to enjoy.

Now note that I said anti-romance, there will be love in some of the films, but I am choosing ones that are not romantic love, or full of love.

13) Legally Blonde

Elle Woods imagined that when her boyfriend asked her out to a fancy dinner, he was going to propose, but he dumps her because she isn’t the “right image.” Angry, wanting to prove him wrong, and hoping to win him back-she takes her LSATS and enrolls in Harvard Law School. There she surprisingly discovers a love of law and justice.

So it does have some romance in it, as she hopes to get her man back, but as the film continues it really becomes about Elle finding her place and who she is, and not letting anyone keep her down or other’s views of her affect her self-esteem. She does end up with a new boyfriend, but that isn’t really the primary focus in the film or a strong part of the story,

For more on Legally Blonde, go to The Bend and Snap

12) What A Way To Go

I first ran into this film when I was shelving the DVDs at work, and when I saw the cast list I had to watch it! Shirley MacLaine is Louisa May Foster Hopper Flint Anderson Benson who has dreamed of living a poor, simple life with the man she loves. Instead each man she marries gets rich, spends zero time with her, and is killed by their work-leaving her richer and trying again to find love. Each sequence also has a flashback when a “movie type scenario” from a silent film, Parisian film, big technicolor extravaganza, and a musical.

This film is hilarious as all Louisa wants is to be poor, but keeps making each man richer-ending up alone. She and all her co-stars gel so well-you can’t miss this amazing and fun film. Louisa does fall in love again and again, but as she gives her husband’s ideas that make them rich and busy, she actually doesn’t spend that much time with them. It is sooo funny, that all will enjoy and need to watch.

11) Double Jeopardy

Libby Parsons went out for a romantic night with her husband and woke up to him dead! She then finds herself on trial for his murder, convicted and in jail, her son taken and missing, and it turns out her husband is still alive. Libby serves her time and as soon as she is paroled she will do all she can to find her boy and make her husband pay!

There is no romance in this, just a mother’s love and determination to get her son. Plus-revenge and hardcore justice!

For more on Double Jeopardy, go to I Could Shoot You in the Middle of Mardi Gras and They Can’t Touch Me…: Double Jeopardy (1999)

10) Shenandoah

James Stewart is Charlie Anderson, yeoman farmer and father of seven living in Shenandoah, Virginia. Charlie does not own slaves, he has six sons who can help with the work, therefore he does not believe in fighting in the Civil War. Instead Charlie chooses to go on with his daily life, believing that if he stays out of the war, then him and his family will be safe. However, people in his household have conflicting views; one of his sons, Jacob, wants to fight in the war and his son-in-law is an officer in the Confederate army. His youngest boy ends up being mistaken as a confederate troop and captured as a prisoner of war, then causing Charlie and his family to go after him; ultimately thrusting them into the war.

Shenandoah is radically different in its portrayal of the Civil War. It steers away from celebrating, idealizing, and romanticizing war-instead not choosing to not honor a side but vilify war in general. It presents all viewpoints on the Civil War and raises issues concerning the Civil War that are applicable in contemporary times. The way Shenandoah is able to encompass all views makes it a film that is still relatable today. It is a sad film, but powerful. It has no real romantic love, but focuses on the love of a family.

9) Dangerous Crossing

Ruth Stanton has just eloped with John Bowman and the two are going on a cruise for their honeymoon. He goes to the purser while she heads up to the deck. When she returns to her room, it isn’t her room! There is no record of John Bowman, the staff has not seen him and don’t recall seeing them together. Ruth Stanton did have to go to a sanitarium, after her father died, could she be having another breakdown? Or is there a sinister plot against her?

This is a film noir that has mystery and suspense and very little romance. Yes, Ruth is on her honeymoon, but as her husband is missing (or does he even exist?) there is no romance-just her drive to find out what happened.

For more on Dangerous Crossing, go to I Do Think You Are Confused Mrs. Bowman: Dangerous Crossing (1953)

8) Jaws

Amity Island is getting ready for the summer and what should be a great time on the beach. However, all is not well as a rogue great white shark has decided to make the beach this year’s home. He’s eating up tourists and locals, scaring the crowds away, and causing all kinds of havoc. Soon the sheriff, a marine biologist, and fisher have to team up to hunt the monster down.

Let’s see the film starts off with a couple trying to be romantic and getting turned into shark bait, so you know the romance in this will be zero. A fantastic film that anyone will enjoy.

For more on Jaws, go to You’re Gonna Need a Bigger Screen: Happy 40th to JAWS

7) Night of the Living Dead

Barbara and her brother are visiting their grandparent’s grave when they are attacked by a zombie!! Her brother is taken, but Barbara escapes ending up in a house with several others who are trying to survive this attack and find a way out.

There is absolutely no romance in this film as everything is focused on surviving the dreaded event. There is a teenage couple who try and escape the horror, but they succumb to zombies.

For more Night of the Living Dead, go to They’re Coming To Get You Barbara: Night of the Living Dead (1968)

 

6) The Trouble With Angels

I got this movie as a gift from a friend one year. She said, and direct quote, “I saw it was an old movie so I figured you would like it.” Ha ha.

Mary Clancy (Hayley Mills) is quite the troublemaker, so much that her father has decided to send her to Catholic school. There she teams up with fellow newcomer, Rachel Devery, and they begin to pull pranks on the Nuns and Mother Superior. Mother Superior won’t be outdone, however, and plans to do all she can to tame their temperamental moods.

An adorable film about friendship, faith, and growing up. Not a drop of romance in it.

5) The Beverly Hillbillies

Jed is just an average “hillbillie” trying to keep his family fed. He’s out shooting and finds the biggest oil field in America on record. He takes his daughter Ellie May, cousin Jethro, granny (Jed’s mother-in-law), and a truckfull of animals to Beverly Hills, CA. The try and navigate in Beverly Hills, their ways being a full “fish out of water” scenario. When Jed sees that his daughter is completely unladylike, he decides it is time to get a wife who can raise his daughter right. Enter Woodrow Tyler and Laura Jackson, conmen, who plan to make Jed fall in love with Laura and take all his money. Will their plan work? Or will these Hillbillies prove they are much smarter than they seem at first glance.

This film is hilarious and so much fun to watch, I know I could watch it over and over again. You might think a film that centers around marriage has to be about love and romance, wrong! There is none really at all in this film. It is hilarious as we see the hillbillies trying to survive in ’90s Beverly Hills. There is no real romance as Jed gets engaged not for love but because he wants to help his daughter, no real courting involved. Instead just laughs and hijinks, and fun.

4) She-Devil

Roseanne Barr plays housewife to a verbally abusive husband, and mother to equally abusive children. When her husband cheats on her with romance writer, played by Meryl Streep, Roseanne decides to get even. She systematically destroys all that her husband holds dear-his house, job, etc. She leaves her abusive kids to go to live with their dad and new wife-destroying Meryl Streep as well. Now having to be a mom and wife-Streep finds herself suffering at all of Roseanne’s plotting.

This is a fun comedy where all those who wronged you get their just desserts. A comedic film where revenge is a dish that keeps getting served over and over again. A great film if you want zero romance and see those who deserve it-suffer!

3) The First Wives Club

Three college friends (played by Diane Keaton, Goldie Hawn, and Bette Midler) are reunited after the death of their once close friend. They discover that each one’s husband is leaving them for another woman. Instead of sitting around, they decide to form a group and get back at the cheating losers.

No love here as these women take their spouses down and rediscover the beauty of friendship.

2) The Outsiders

This film has always been a favorite for me. My friends and I used to do a Hunk-a-Thon, where we bring films with our favorite hot guys and marathon watch, and this was always one of my choices. Why you may ask? Well it has Patrick Swayze, Rob Lowe, C. Thomas Howell, Ralph Macchio, Tom Cruise, Emilio Estevez, and Matt Dillion.

A touching story about boys from the wrong-side of town getting caught up in a situation over their heads. Based on the book by S.E. Hinton, it is poignant, heartwarming, and completely relatable.

There is no romance in the film, only the incredible love of friendship and family. An amazing film-watch if you haven’t yet.

1) 9 to 5

One year, my friend had her heartbroken and we were trying to cheer her up, and I said let’s watch this movie. There is no romance, it is hilarious, and we’ll all be too focused on the hijinks to be sad. No one else had seen the movie, so at first they weren’t sure, but we had a great time watching it.

9 to 5 takes place in the early ’80s and is about three different working women who have to deal with a cheating, lazy, misogynistic boss: Franklin Hart Jr. Violet Newstead (Lily Tomlin) is the senior office manager and the one who really runs the corporation. Unfortunately, she never moves up as Hart takes credit for her ideas. Doralee Rhodes (the amazing Dolly Parton), is Hart’s secretary who he sexually assaults and tells the whole office he is sleeping with, turning all the other staff against her. Judy Bernly (Jane Fonda) has just entered the workforce as her husband has left her for his secretary, Hart yells and threatens to fire her after an office mistake that anyone could make. After a particularly distressing day, the women end up going to a bar, becoming friends, and fantasizing about actually killing their boss. The next day Violet thinks she accidentally poisoned him. The rest is hilarious. You should totally check it out..

This movie is soooooooo funny. It is a must watch! No romance-just comedy, music, justice, and friendship.

For more on 9 to 5, go to Five to Nine

I hope you all enjoy that! Of course of you are in a romantic mood you can always check out one of my previous Romance is in the Air series:

For I Only Want to Be With You: Romance is in the Air, go to Boom Box of Love: Say Anything (1989)

For Keep On Loving You: Romance is in the Air Part II, go to Language of Love: Love Actually (2003)

For What I Like About You: Romance is in the Air Part III, go to I Can See Your Beauty: The Breakfast Club (1985)

For Good Lovin’: Romance is in the Air Part IV, go toI Can’t Pretend, I Have to Be: Casual Sex? (1988)

For How Sweet It Is To Be Loved By You: Romance is in the Air Part V, go to I Did It for You: Edward Scissorhands (1990)

For The Power of Love: Romance is in the Air Part VI, go to Who Says I Have to Stop: Fireproof (2008)

Or snuggle up with an Austen film!

Non-Austen Films for Austen Fans

So if you are like me, you love Jane Austen:

You like to read her books and watch her movies:

 

There are a ton of different variations in books and film-but what about when you are done? What about when you finish watching every version of Jane Austen in film and have nothing else to watch?

Last year I started a series called Non-Austen Reads for Austen Readers, where I review books not written or based on Jane Austen, but ones I think Austen fans will enjoy. I decided to continue that and do a series on Non-Austen Film for Austen Fans (including TV shows as well.)

I haven’t decided if with the TV series I will review by episode or season, or just one review-I’ll have to play it by ear. But below are what I plan on reviewing!

The Buccaneers (1995)

North & South (2004)

Under the Greenwood Tree (2005)

Downton Abbey (2010-2015)

The Paradise (2012-2013)

Poldark (2015-)

Doctor Thorne (2016)

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before (2018)

Use Tea to Soothe Dry or Irritated Skin

So recently I have started following the blog Tea and Me and they posted on other things you can do with your tea/teabags after you have made tea. There are some interesting suggestions that I plan to try out.

But after reading the post, it reminded me of something I’ve done with tea before.

I remember…

Now I have horrible skin. I think I’ve said before. It is dry and oily-making it so hard to try to figure out what skin care/products to use.

Besides that I have very sensitive skin. It is so sensitive I don’t even know half the things I am allergic to. Sometimes I am just going about my life and my skin gets irritated, hives break out, and next thing you know I’m scratching and breaking the skin.

Ugh!!

The worst is when my skin gets abnormally dry, typically when the seasons change. My skin becomes so dry it hurts. Lotion doesn’t help-it seems to just make it worse and more painful.

Ouch!

Somewhere online I read to use green tea to soothe irritated skin. I tried it and loved it! It made my skin feel great as it was so cooling and excellent.

And I feel happy when my skin feels good!

Here is what you do:

  1. Boil water.
  2. Prepare a cup of Green tea.
  3. Let the tea cool.
  4. Once the tea has cooled, dip a washcloth in the cooled tea and lay on the affected area.
  5. Repeat as much as needed.

It was amazing. I have never had anything so calming and soothing! I highly recommend it for any with dry or irritated skin. (Especially those who may have a significant other who’s unshaved skin upsets your skin).

And I promise to try out Tea and Me’s tea care suggestions and let you know what I think of them afterward.

For more tea posts, go to Earl Grey Infused Blueberry Smoothie

For more on the skin I’m in, go to It’s the Most Woeful Time of the Year

For more Audrey Hepburn quotes, go to Why I Still Love My Fair Godmother

Here Piggy, Piggy: Chinese New Year

The Chinese New Year this year goes from February 5th – March 5th. I will be posting 9 of my favorite fictional pigs from film and books.

Yes!

Years of the Pigs are 1935, 1947, 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995, 2007, 2019, and 2031. Pigs are realistic, treat themselves well, they are a bit materialistic, hard workers, energetic, and enthusiastic.

Pigs are most compatable with Tigers, as they provide protection and security. They also do well with Rabbits and Goats.

So now onto the countdown.

9) Pigling Bland from The Tale of Pigling Bland by Beatrix Potter

Pigling Bland is sent away from home when there are too many piglets to feed. He and his brother Alexander are headed to market, but Alexander loses his papers and is sent back to the farm. Pigling finds them afterwards and tries to go after him. He ends up running into a farmer who invites him to stay the night at his home. Pigling agrees but is unsure to trust him. After the farmer goes to bed, Pigling discovers another pig there and the two try to escape over the ill anf far away.

***Pigling Bland***

Pigling is a stickler to the rules, kind, caring, intelligent, and all he wanrs os the simple life. He aids Pigwig in her freedom and uses his wits to save the two and escape tp freedom.

For more on Beatrix Potter, go to Bookish Thank You

8) Madmartigan Turns into a Pig from Willow

A prophecy states that a child born with a birthmark will dethrone the evil sorceress, Queen Bavmorda. To stop it from coming to pass she imprisons all pregnant woman to kill them and their children. One child is born and smuggled out, ending up in a village of dwarves. She is found by Willow Ufgood who goes on a quest to try and bring the child to humans to raised by them.

***Madmartigan***

When we first meet the handsome, mercenary Madmartigan, played by Val Kilmer, he is a metaphorical pig. He only cares about himself, is after woman, and just looking for that next pleasurable thing (and freedom from the raven’s cage they put him in.) But as he goes with Willow, we see him change to be a better person. And then the evil sorceress tries to turn him into a pig, but our hero isn’t out for long. He’s saved in the end by Willow, and then takes the baby to raise and care for.

7) Wilbur from Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White

Fern saves the runt of the litter from being made into morning’s breakfast and is given him, Wilbur, to take care of, him staying at her uncle’s farm. She loves her pig, but soon grows up and doesn’t seem to care for the pig anymore. Fern’s uncle and aunt decide it is time for him to be made into dinner, but poor Wilbur doesn’t want to die. He has befriended an amazing spider named Charlotte and she sets out on a plan to save him.

***Wilbur***

Wilbur is an adorable pig and friend. He’s there for Charlotte and even after her death, cares for her spiders and the generations to come.

6) Henwen from The Book of Three by Lloyd Alexander and film The Black Cauldron

In The Book of Three, Taran is a young boy who wishes to be a knight and fight for his country. He is an orphan that has been raised with former sorceror Dalbean and knight Coll. His job is to be the assistant pig-keeper and care for Hen Wen. But to his chagrin, there is more than meets the eye. Hen Wen is an oracular pig and needs protection from the evil Horned King. When he shirks his duties, she is kidnapped and he sets out to save her, meeting a whole cast of other characters.

***Hen Wen***

Hen Wen is a sweet pig that has an amazing power to see the future and reveal where the black cauldron is hidden, the very thing the Horned King desires. She also is fundamental in helping Taran become a man, him learning a lot of humility, responsibility, and that actions-or lack of them-can have serious consequences.

For more on Hen Wen, go to A Hidden Wonder

5) Piglet from Winnie-the-Pooh by A. A. Milne

In the Hundred Acre Woods, Winnie-the-Pooh, Piglet, Eeyore, Tigger, Rabbit, Gopher, and Owl go on all kinds of adventures with their boy, Christopher Robin.

***Piglet***

Piglet is Pooh’s best friend and always there for anyone. He is scared of a lot of things, but his fear doesn’t keep him from being the most loyal creature in the woods. Even when Owl tries to take his house for Eeyore, Piglet doesn’t stop them-but is willing to give it up for his pal. From taking part in Pooh’s schemes to being there for all-he’s a wonderful pig.

For more on Winnie the Pooh and Piglet, go to 25 More Films of Christmas

4) Porky Pig from Looney Tunes

Looney Tunes is a collection of silly shorts and fun cartoons.

***Porky Pig***

Such a big part of my childhood, he had to go on her. I can’t remember what it would be like without the stuttering-that’s all folks.

For more Looney Tunes, go to Nobody calls me Chicken: Chinese New Year 

3) Lester from Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle’s Magic by Betty MacDonald

Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle-eccentric, childcaretaker, pirate bride-is back with her upside down house, more animal friends, and more tonics and cure-alls for children’s bad behavior. Yes, Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle knows kids and has a chest full of all kinds of tonics and cures for bad behavior such as: I-THOUGHT-YOU-SAIDERS, TATTLETALERS, BAD TABLE MANNERS, INTERRUPTERS, HEEDLESS BREAKERS, I-NEVER-WANT-TO-GO-TO-SCHOOLERS, and WADDLE-I-DOERSThese are amazing books that I grew up read and just LOVE!

***Lester***

Lester is Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle’s pet pig and he is adorable, sweet, kind, caring, and has the best table manners. Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle lends him out to families who’s kids are awful eaters. He is polite, clean, charming, and helps with household chores. Once you have him in your house you won’t want him to leave!

2) Hamm from the Toy Story Series

I’m sure all of you know the plot to this, but just in case…When you were a kid did you ever think that your toys came to life when you were gone and moved around on their own? Well in Toy Story they address the question that every kid was wondering and say, “yes, they do”.

Whenever Andy leaves his room his toys come to life. These toys are lead by a cowboy named Woody (Tom Hanks). As the family is moving, Andy’s birthday party is moved up and he gets lots of space type things, including a new space toy, Buzz Lightyear (Tim Allen). Woody becomes jealous as he is demoted from Andy’s favorite toy, and everyone in the toy chest is going ga-ga over Buzz. One day Woody accidentally knocks Buzz outside Andy’s window. He and the other toys believe that Woody killed him, the other toys believing he did it on purpose. Woody is saved when Andy takes him along on his family’s trip to dinner. While his mom is filling up the tank who should show up? A very angry Buzz seeking revenge. Buzz survived the fall and snuck into the car. As the two fight, Andy and his mom leave for the resturant. Woody hatches a plan to get them there as well,  but they are unfortunately picked up by Andy’s next door neighbor Sid, a sadistic toy torturer. During this time period Buzz has a breakdown as he realizes that he is not a real spaceman, but just a toy. Now it is up to Woody to pull Buzz together and for the two of them to figure out a way to get back to Andy before he moves and is gone forever.

***Hamm***

This wisecracking, sarcastic, tough piggy bank was one of my favorite characters. I loved it so much that I got my own Hamm piggy bank and still use it. He hilarious, fun, and such a childhood and adulthood favorite.

For more Toy Story, go to Well I Feel Sheepish: Chinese New Year

1) Miss Piggy from The Muppets

The Muppets were a variety show with a colorful cast of characters.

***Miss Piggy***

Miss Piggy was the best. She was my ultimate favorite character as a child. Beautiful, charming, forceful, powerful-and won’t let anyone treat her bad. I have to admit I loved when she would karate chop someone and “hiya-ed” more than I probably should have. She was such an influence on me and my personality. The best!

For more on The Muppets, go to T.N.T.

For the 2018 post, go to A Dog’s Life: Chinese New Year

For the 2017 post, go to Nobody calls me Chicken: Chinese New Year

For the 2016 post, go to A Little Monkey Business: Chinese New Year

For the 2015 post, go to Well I Feel Sheepish: Chinese New Year

For the 2014 post, go to A Horse’s Tale: Chinese New Year

For the 2013 list, go to Snakes on a Post: Chinese New Year