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Playing For You From Our Scented Cottage


Winter..A lingering season. It's a time to gather golden moments, embark on a sentimental journey, and enjoy every idle hour.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Love Pink Tourmaline?

This stone is wonderful to keep on your body, as it brings the ability to improve how you feel. Tourmaline contains lithium, which has been known to help with depression. It's avaliable in a wide variety of colors so there is sure to be one you will swoon over. The most expensive are blue indicolite, green verdelite and pink rubelite. Some of these stones appear to change color when viewed from different angles and all are lovely.

Tourmaline is a shamanic stone, providing protection. It can be used for scrying and was traditionally used to point out a cause of trouble or an offender and to indicate which direction to move in.

It's said that if you wear one it also assists in restoring luster to your hair and nails.

Fields of Gold Bath

If you love relaxing baths like I do, here is a recipe you can make for bath sachets.
This is especially nice after a long day at work. Light a candle, grab a magazine and soak away the worries of the day. These are also a great frugal gift idea!

You will need:
4 cups of powdered milk
1 cup boiled water
1/2 cup dried chamomile or 5 chamomile tea bags
Steep chamomile in water for 20 minutes, Strain liquid and mix with milk. Add to bath water.

Archangel For The Month Of December...Haniel (Anael)

Haniel is the Archangel of Divine Communication through clear perception. Generally he is thought of as the Chief of Order of Principalities, Virtues and Innocents, as well as the governor of the sign of Capricorn and Venus. Archangel Hanael invokes us to champion our willpower with the shield of humility, and to live sustainable love through strength, integrity, courage and purpose. 
This archangel is a warrior angel, his authority assists you to fulfill your soul's mission, which is praise, honor and love. Invoke Archangel Haniel’s turquoise ray to give you strength and perseverance when you feel weak. He will guide you through visions, personal revelations and angelic coincidences. Haniel has the power to make fruitful that which previously was not so. To turn states of sadness, confusion, breakdown, anxiety and worry towards happiness. He will help to restore your soul and bring those lost soul fragments back so they may be regenerated.

Related Chakra
4th Heart - Unconditional love - Pink and Green

Days to Avoid working with  Archangel Haniel:

Saturday. ( Cassiel and Uriel)
Gems: Emerald, Turquoise, Rose Quartz or Lapis Lazuli
Ritual Candle Color: Dark Green
Planetary Color: Dark Green or Royal Blue
Harran / Hermetics Color: Yellow
Complimentary Color: Red
Color of the Pentacles of Venus: Dark Green
Astral Color - Taurus: Red and Yellow
Astral Color - Libra: Brown and Black
Symbol: Seven Pointed Star
Tarot Card: Empress III
Planetary Number: 6
Talisman Size/Sides: 7
Numbers of Venus: 7, 49, 175, 1225
Magical Note: A
Direction Ruled: North
Degree: 1:2.
Angelic Thoughtform: Apple
Fruit: Apples, Blackberry, Black Cherry, Coconut, Cucumber, Fig, Gooseberry, Pomegranate, Strawberry and Tomato.
Tree: Apple, Elder, Eucalyptus or Quince.
Flowers/Herbs: Carnation, Delphiniums, Damiana, Fennel, Groundsel, Honeysuckle, Jasmine, Maidenhair, Monkshood, Rose, Tansy, Vervain, Verbena or Willow Herb.
Insects: Caterpillars and Butterflies
Animals: Rabbit, Dove, Love Birds and Sparrows
Anatomy Governed: Heart, Genitals, Kidneys, Urinary system, Facial skin,
Bladder, Uterus, Ovaries, Testes, Prostate and Tongue.

The Mythical Selkie...

Today I'm doing a repost on my favorite fairy/ mythological creature of Ireland. The Selkie.

The shapeshifting Selkies, who are also known as Silkies, or Roane as the Irish call them (Gaelic for seal), occupy the seas surrounding the Orkney and the Shetland isles. The exact nature of their undersea world is uncertain, though some believe it to be encased in giant air bubbles. Their true forms are those of faeries or humans, though they take the form of large seals when traveling the through the oceans. In particular: great seals and grey seals are said to take human forms. Older tales tell that selkies are only able to take on human forms on certain nights of the year, such as Midsummer's Eve or All Hallows.

Occasionally the selkies encounter humankind, sometimes becoming their mates. A human male may take a selkie female as his wife if he finds her seal skin on the beach and hides it from her. In the end she always recovers the skin and returns to the sea, though she may return occasionally to watch over her human family from the safety of the waves.

A human woman may bear the child of a selkie male if she weeps seven tears or seven drops of blood in the nighttime sea. Such relationships are rarely lasting. Seven years hence, the selkie would return for his child, offering the mother a fee for nursing her own babe.

There is even a movie with focus on my favorite being. It is called "The Secret of Roan Inish." In the movie a fisherman steals a selkie's pelt while she is sunbathing. She is then forced to return to his house, as she cannot escape back into the sea, and becomes his wife and bears him children. The skin of the seal gives her power over men, but without it she is a mortal woman, trapped on land, slave to the whims of her husband. The life there slowly suffocates her and she spends much time splashing in the shallows of the ocean. Years later, one of the children sees the pelt and asks what it is. The wife immediately knows, drops what she is doing and retrieves the pelt from its hiding place, having long ago despaired of ever finding it. She does not hesitate; she rushes to the ocean to return to her former life as a seal.

Do you have a favorite fairy?

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Sugar Free Chocolate Fudge...Diabetic Recipe

There's no need to deny yourself this holiday season, even if you have sugar restrictions. Make a batch of this creamy, sugar free fudge and give some as gifts as well! It's wonderful!

2 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled
1 cup Splenda
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup chopped pecans

In a small bowl, beat the cream cheese, chocolate, sweetener and vanilla until smooth. Stir in pecans. Pour into an 8-in. square dish lined with foil. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Cut into 16 squares. Serve chilled. Yield: 16 servings.

Nutritional Analysis:One serving equals 147 calories, 14 g fat(0 saturated fat)31mg cholesterol, 84 mg sodium, 5 g carbohydrate, 0 fiber, 3 g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 3 fat.

Weather Cones...

Long before technology was developed to predict the weather, people had to rely on observation, patterns, and folk lore to avoid being caught off guard by the elements. If your plans, livelihood or even your survival depend on the weather, it certainly wouldn't hurt to become familiar with some of these methods, especially since you never know when you might be out of touch with the local weather report.

Did you know that one of the most reliable of all natural weather indicators are pine cones? These have traditionally been used to forecast the weather as they change shape according to whether it is wet or dry. In dry weather, pine cones open out as the scales shrivel up and stand out stiffly. When it is damp, they absorb moisture and as the scales become flexible again, the cone returns to its normal shape.

Do you have access to pinecones? Do you have a fireplace? If so, perhaps you will like this craft that costs very little to make. When I had a pine tree dropping cones in my yard I pondered ways to use them. Making wreaths is one way but you can also make your own pine cone firestarters for your fireplace. Perfect for the cold weather months coming up.

Gather the pinecones in fall, allow them to dry out, then dip in melted wax recycled from old candles or crayons. These make wonderful gifts for the fall and winter for those with fireplaces.

The colors vary depending on the treatment applied. Melt wax in double boiler , not directly on stove as heated wax can ignite. To add colored flames when burning use:

- table salt (burns yellow)
- no-salt substitute (burns violet)
- borax (burns green)

Dip pinecones in wax to coat and then dip in a mixture of sawdust and one of the above items, (depending on the burning color desired).

Display in a wicker basket, nestled in autumn leaves or Christmas greenery, and embellish with seasonal ribbon bows. Just lovely and much cheaper than purchasing them at a high end retail shoppe.

Time To Get Out The Slow Cooker...

With cold weather here it's time to get out your slow cooker for the soups, stews and hearty meals that you can simmer to perfection during the day while you are busy. This recipe is for a slow cooked "fake" Chicken Cordon Bleu and the cook time is approx 6-7 hours. Enjoy!


6 boneless skinless chicken breasts
6 pieces of swiss cheese, 1/2" x 3" (I buy reduced fat)
10 oz. can condensed cream of mushroom soup with roasted garlic (also reduced fat)
3 Tbsp. water
1/4 tsp. pepper
Flatten each chicken breast with wooden mallet or rolling pin. Place piece of cheese in the center of each. Fold up and secure with toothpicks. Place in slowcooker. Combine remaining ingredients and pour over chicken bundles, making sure pieces are fully covered.
Cover crockpot. Cook on low 6-7 hours, until chicken is thoroughly cooked. 4-6 servings
NOTE:You can also place a piece of thin sliced ham on the cheese, or small amounts of chopped broccoli. Play with the recipe and have fun with your cooking! It's a good idea to keep the same amount of toothpicks per piece of chicken, this way your guests/family will know how many toothpicks to look for before they take a bite of the chicken.

Christmas Weather Forecast

According to old Irish folklore, if Christmas falls
On Sunday: it means a warm winter and a hot dry summer.
On Monday: a foggy winter and a windy summer.
On Tuesday: a snowy winter and a wet summer.
On Wednesday: a hard winter and a very good summer.
On Thursday: a soft winter and a very good summer.
On Friday: a moderate winter and a moderate Autumn.
And on Saturday: a windy snowy winter and a good summer.

Are you curious about what your weather holds for you in your corner of the world? Check out the Farmer's Almanac here.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

A Lesson On Scottish Shortbread...

To say I have a fondness for shortbread would be a gross understatement. I not only love nibbling on it with my cup of afternoon tea, but I love to gift it during the holidays as well. Place some in a pretty tin and include some tea and it makes a fine and welcome gift indeed!

The story of shortbread begins with the medieval "biscuit bread". Any leftover dough from bread making was dried out in a low oven until it hardened into a type of rusk. The word "biscuit" means "twice cooked". Gradually over time, the yeast in the bread was replaced by butter, and biscuit bread developed into shortbread. In the old days, shortbread was classified as a bread by bakers to avoid paying the tax placed on biscuits in Scotland. It was an expensive luxury, and for ordinary people, shortbread was a special treat reserved just for special occasions such as weddings, Christmas and New Year. Luckily, these days it is one of the most affordable cookies to bake.

Shortbread has been attributed to Mary, Queen of Scots, who in the mid 16th century was said to be very fond of Petticoat Tails, a thin, crisp, buttery shortbread originally flavored with caraway seeds.

There are two theories regarding the name of these biscuits. It has been suggested that the name "petticoat tail" may be a corruption of the French petites gatelles ("little cakes"). However, these traditional Scottish shortbread biscuits may in fact date back beyond the 12th century. The triangles fit together into a circle and echo the shape of the pieces of fabric used to make a full-gored petticoat during the reign of Elizabeth I. The theory is that the name may have come from the word for the pattern which was 'tally', and so the biscuits became known as 'petticoat tallis'.

Shortbread is traditionally formed into one of three shapes: one large circle divided into segments ("Petticoat Tails"); individual round biscuits ("Shortbread Rounds"); or a thick rectangular slab cut into "fingers." No matter how you cut them, they are delicious and one of my favorite cookies. I usually make mine in rounds or squares and sometimes use a shortbread press to make designs on my cookies. If you are a lemon lover as well, you will like this recipe. These cookies also freeze very well.

Lemon Shortbread
1 cup butter,softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon lemon zest
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Cream butter and sugar in a large bowl. Add lemon zest and blend well. By hand, stir in flour a little at a time. Dough will be crumbly. Pour it out onto a counter top or pastry board and work it together by hand until smooth. Pat or roll dough out into a rectangle that is about 1/2 inch thick. Cut into small squares, rectangles or diamonds (whichever you prefer). Arrange cookies on ungreased baking sheet (I use parchment paper for easy cleanup) and bake 20-25 minutes in a preheated 325 degree oven until the bottom edges are just starting to brown.

Herbal Skin Soothers

The healing power of herbs for your skin is a healthy alternative to chemically laden bath salts and oils. Herbal bath blends are both easy and inexpensive to make, and can be added directly to baths or, preferably, placed in a bath bag. I put mine in muslin bags, or you can make a bag out of cheesecloth. You can also buy the larger tea bags at health food stores. Just add the bath blends after you have filled the tub with water, otherwise, the therapeutic steam will evaporate prematurely.

Relax the tension in your muscles and mind away naturally. At the same time, enjoy conditioning and refreshing your skin from head to toe!

If you don't have a local source for dried flowers, I find Save On Crafts to be a wonderful place to purchase them. Click here  to visit their site.

For dry or chapped skin:
one cup dried rose petals
1/2 cup dried lavender flowers

Skin Soother:
1 cup oatmeal (not instant)
1/2 cup rosemary leaves (or substitute lavender, thyme, lemon verbena or your favorite herb)
1/4 cup rose petals

For acne or eczema:
one cup dried chamomile flowers
one half cup dried lavender flowers

For poor circulation:
one cup dried rosemary leaves
1/2 cup dried chamomile flowers

For muscle aches and stiff joints:
1/2 cup dried lemon-balm leaves
1/2 cup dried rosemary leaves
1/4 cup dried chamomile flowers

For colds and congestion:
1/2 cup dried thyme leaves
1 cup dried sage leaves
1/4 cup dried rosemary leaves

Stop by again soon!