Baking Biscuits And Muffins Without A Mixer

I’ve been in a baking mood, baking biscuits and muffins daily BUT I do not have a mixer. That’s probably why I have been doing it daily. It’s to experiment to find just the right basic mix for biscuits and muffins. Finally after a few rounds of experimenting, I found it. No creaming of butter and sugar required. So simple and fast.


  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar or less
  • 1 teaspoon baking powerd
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 unsalted butter bar cut into cubes
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

That is my basic mix. To that, I added eggs, milk, pandan juice, orange juice and zest, lime juice and zest, carrot juice and julienned carrots with walnuts, All liquids about 1/2 cup. More liquid for muffins and less or no liquids for biscuits. Vegetable oil may be added for muffins.

All I had to do is put all of the ingredients above into a bowl and used my fingers to rub them around till they resemble crumbs in the first stage and dough in the second stage. Liquids and oil are added for muffins. They are always added in the middle and the flour stirred slowly with a plastic spoon so that they don’t form clumps.

Biscuits dough should be pliable enough to be cut and muffin mixes should be soft enough to be poured into a muffin tray for 6.

Preheat oven while working on the mix and once done, put in the tray for baking around 10 minutes. Biscuits are arranged on baking paper on oven tray while muffins are poured into muffin paper cups and placed inside muffin tray.

The above basic makes 6 muffins or a small tub of biscuits, just right for a small family of four.

No gadgets required, Just your hands a spoon and a bowl. Time needed: 20-30 minutes (including 10 minutes baking time which really doesn’t count because you’re not doing anything while waiting, well, just washing the bowl and plastic spoon you used maybe).

Now that I’ve completed my basic recipe, I’ve ordered a biscuit pump or biscuit press to make my biscuit a little bit more impressive looking. Can’t wait for it to arrive and try it out.

Choosing Cross Stitch Patterns

Choosing Cross Stitch Patterns can be quite a challenge. This post showcases my cross stitch projects over the years and my tips on how to choose a cross stitch pattern for your next project. Cross stitch thread


Choosing Cross Stitch Patterns

Once you’ve started learning to cross stitch, the next step is to choose cross stitch patterns and designs for your cross stitch projects. Now, that is really the fun part. I have spent hours poring over cross stitch books and cross stitch designs to find just the right design that I want.

In this lens I will share some tips with you on how to choose the right cross stitch pattern and designs for your cross stitch projects. Besides the tips, I will also share with you the cross stitch I have done over the years and talk about each of them so you have a better idea of the differences in each cross stitch design and why I chose them.

I hope this helps those of you who are searching for information on how to choose cross stitch patterns and designs.

You Can Select And Sew A Cross Stitch Design For Different Occasions And Special Moments In Your Life As I Have

Before I Start Sharing My Cross Stitch Pattern Selection Tips, I Would Like To Share With You An Intro Of How I Started Cross St

My Home Science Teacher Introduced Me To Cross Stitching When I Was Ten

I first started cross stitching when my home science teacher taught the class how to cross stitch when I was 10. I still remember the first cross stitch pattern I did was one of a Japanese girl holding an umbrella. She was wearing a pastel pink and green kimono and holding an umbrella with pretty flowers on it.

I no longer have the cross stitch now. I must have lost it or given it away during one of the many times we moved house. Funnily, I remember the cross stitch pattern clearly in my mind, even though I do not have it with me anymore. In fact, I remember each and every cross stitch project I have done clearly and there were many.

Cross stitch projects make lovely gifts. I have sewn and given away many cross stitch to friends for the birth of their babies etc. Cross stitch patterns also marks the special moments in our lives.

This is my number one tip on choosing a cross stitch project.


Welcome To My Cross Stitch Gallery

I Chose This Cross Stitch Of Two Dogs To Give To My Then Boyfriend And Now My Husband Of Over 10 Years – You Can Choose A Cross Stitch Pattern Of Animals If You

Cross Stitch Dogs

Cross Stitch Dogs

Cross Stitch Pattern Dogs

I did this cross stitch many years ago. This cross stitch of two dogs was sewn with love and given to my boyfriend as a birthday present. At the time, he had three dogs in his house. I was happy to find this cross stitch design with two dogs which look very much like the dogs he had in his home at the time.

It was quite an easy project as there were a lot of single cross stitch. Single cross stitch is when you are required to sew one side of the cross stitch only, usually used to depict reflection etc to make it appear lighter.

Cross stitch projects are great as gifts. Choose a design that have special meaning like a wedding or birth of a child or picture of animals for pet lovers like this one.

Tip: Cross stitch gifts last for years. If you frame them up as I have done here, remember to write at the back of your frame and remember to include the date too since the gift will last for years to come and the date will help the recipient remember that special moment when you presented the cross stitch gift to them.

This Cross Stitch Easter Pattern Was Given To Me As A Present By My Sister In Law – This Cross Stitch Easter Pattern Came In A Complete Cross Stitch Kit

Cross Stitch Pattern Easter

Cross Stitch Easter Boy and Girl

Cross Stitch Easter Boy and Girl

This was one of the best presents I received. I loved it so much. The cross stitch came in a complete cross stitch kit with cross stitch pattern, cross stitch floss, cross stitch needle and cross stitch material. All I had to do was start stitching.

I love the little rhyme at the bottom of the picture. In fact, I love any cross stitch that comes with a quote. You can easily add your own quote to any cross stitch project too, if you like.

This cross stitch design had a lot of back stitches to make define the outline of the cross stitch picture. The writing at the bottom is also done using back stitches.

Tips On Choosing Cross Stitch Patterns – I Hope This Simple Cross Stitch Patterns And Design Selection Tips Helps You

If you are new to cross stitch, then I wish you a happy time cross stitching. If you are not new to cross stitch, then I am sure that you will agree with me that every cross stitch you sew carries a lasting memory and you remember every cross stitch project you have done with fondness like I do.

If you are new, choose a cross stitch kit that comes complete with everything
Decide on whether you want a stamped or counted cross stitch set. A stamped set has color coding on the material to show you where to sew. A counted cross stitch set has blank material so you have to find the middle, then start sewing and counting from there by following a given chart

Small cross stitch projects are faster and easier to complete and therefore more motivating, so choose small cross stitch patterns rather than large ambitious cross stitch patterns. Leave the large patterns to the cross stitch die hard experts

If you are not buying a cross stitch kit that comes with everything, then you have to decide whether you want to buy a cross stitch pattern chart or a whole cross stitch book
If you are buying a cross stitch book with mini and not so mini patterns, you can make your own cross stitch designs

When buying cross stitch pattern books, you can buy cross stitch books that carry a theme. These are great for home decor

Pick a cross stitch pattern for a special occasion like birth, wedding or for celebrations like Christmas or Easter. These are great keepsakes for yourself as well as gifts

I Got This Cross Stitch Pattern From A Cross Stitch Book Of Water Features. – If You Like A Particular Theme, You Can Choose A Cross Stitch Book With That Theme

Cross Stitch Pattern Waterfall

Cross Stitch Waterfall

Cross Stitch Waterfall

During the time I spent browsing and looking through cross stitch patterns, I found a treasure, a little book on cross stitch featuring waterfalls, fountains and every other cross stitch with water feature you can think of. I loved it so much.

One day, as I was sewing my cross stitch from my cross stitch patterns with water theme book, the tea lady at my office admired it and requested to borrow my book. She never returned it despite my asking her for it a few times. If she had really wanted it that much, I could have given it to her but at least let me photostat a copy of the cross stitch patterns for myself first!

In this cross stitch pattern, the whole cross stitch material was filled with stitches, nothing was left blank, which is very nice.

Tip: When choosing cross stitch patterns, you can select special themes. Special themed cross stitch patterns can usually be found in cross stitch patter books. You can find cross stitch themes like flowers, music, sports, animals even favorite cartoons to make and decorate your home with.

This Cross Stitch Picnic Scene Was From A Single Cross Stitch Pattern. It Did Not Include A Cross Stitch Kit. I Had To Buy The Cross Stitch Pattern separately

Cross Stitch pattern Picnic

Cross Stitch Picnic

Cross Stitch Picnic

The end result of this cross stitch picnic design was quite nice however it was rather hard to sew. Firstly, I purchased only the design and I had to buy the other cross stitch stuff separately. Secondly, it involved a lot of 1/2, 1/4 and 3/4 stitches which I did not know at the time. I found those 1/2 and 1/4 stitches rather cumbersome and boring to sew.

The cross stitch also used mainly two floss of thread instead of six and on finely woven cross stitch cloth making it even harder to sew but the end result is lovely as I mentioned. I guess if you want something nice, you have to work for it just like any other thing in life.

This Is My Largest Cross Stitch Pattern Featuring A Nature Theme – It Took Me Several Months Working On It Daily To Complete

Cross Stitch Pattern Nature

Cross Stitch Scenery

Cross Stitch Scenery

I did this cross stitch at a point in my life when I had more free time. I could never do another cross stitch like that now. Having two young kids who require most of my attention may be one of the reasons. I also enjoy my online writing a lot which takes up a lot of my time too.

This is a very large cross stitch pattern. I wouldn’t recommend it unless you have a lot of free time and really enjoy cross stitch a lot. Otherwise, you may abandon it half way.

Tip: Smaller cross stitch are easier and faster to complete and therefore more motivating. I can complete a small project in a day or two but a big project like this takes a few months. These days, I prefer smaller projects as being able to see a finished cross stitch projects gives me a certain sense of accomplishment and a smaller project allows me to feel this “happy I have finished this cross stitch feeling” faster and more often.

This Is My Current Cross Stitch Design From Another Large Sized Nature Themed Cross Stitch Chart

Cross Stitch WIP

Cross Stitch Pattern

Cross Stitch Pattern

I bought this large sized cross stitch pattern along with all the necessary cross stitch floss, needles and cloth to make a large sized picture for my new house. The other large sized cross stitch pattern from a cross stitch chart was done for my previous apartment. I bought this to make as a house warming present for myself when we moved from an apartment to a house.

I’ve been living in the house for more than 5 years now and my cross stitch remains uncompleted. That is why I gave the warning about large projects. It takes too long to complete. Oh, I don’t mean it takes 5 years to complete. It is just that I keep on putting it aside and putting it off because it takes so long.

I was really excited about this one because the design came with beads, something I had not tried sewing before. The shopkeeper did warn me that I was getting a really beautiful but hard to sew design but I did not heed his warning.

This cross stitch requires stitches using different numbered flosses to give it a 3D effect. Some flosses had to be combined, ie using 3 floss of one color combined with 3 floss of another color to give it shading making it hard and tedious to sew.

Tip: When choosing large patterns that really looks beautiful with lots of shading and effect, you may have to do a lot of work to make it look that lovely!

Find More Cross Stitch Patterns On Amazon – You can use this search box to find more cross stitch patterns and designs on Amazon.

Photo Credit

The cross stitch photos on this page are from my personal collection of cross stitch which I have done over the years. I took the photos using my iPad 4, transferred them to my computer using a photo transfer app and resized them with a photo resizer to share them here with you.

How to play the piano online

Learn to Play the Piano Online

You can learn anything online including the piano. This post will lead you to the sites that will help you learn the piano online. If you have always dreamed to play the piano, you can fulfill your dream now.

Learn to Play the Piano on YouTube – Learn to play piano in 40 lessons

One easy way to learn the piano online is by watching YouTube videos. I like this You Tube channel that teaches you just that. There are 40 free piano lessons altogether starting from the very basics.

Here are some software and dvds to guide you in learning piano

You can learn to play piano for free from Andrew Furmanczyk. I think it is a wonderful initiative by a piano teacher who has set up this web page to share his knowledge for free. The YouTube video lessons on How to play the piano above are his.

Learn how to play piano with Zebra Keys

This site offers over 50 free online lessons

Here is the list of free piano lessons from Zebra Keys for Basic, Beginner and Advanced. Piano lessons are targeted for kids aged 13 and up. The parent who has no piano background but who wants to help their kids learn will find this site useful.

Learn Piano By Chords

I find this site that teaches how to play piano by chords interesting. It tries to keep learning music theory to a minimum. However, I find that a complete beginner may find it hard to follow. It will however be very useful for the piano learner who wish to brush up on their chords.

This site offers free beginner, intermediate and advanced piano lessons including lessons on how to play piano scales. So if you or your child needs help with your piano scales, this is the place to go to.

I hope you found this site useful. Comments welcomed.

My Favorite Drawing, Poster And Photo Editing App As An Online Writer

My Favorite Drawing, Poster And Photo Editing App As An Online Writer


If you are an online writer, you will need graphics and images to support your writing. I will share with you four of my favorite drawing, poster making and photo editing app on this hub.

Make Your Own Graphics For Your Blog, Site Or Page

Are you an online writer? Do you have your own blog? Do you write for content sites like HubPages? If you do any writing online, you will need photos, images and graphics to support your writing. Though cliche the saying “A Picture Speaks A Thousand Words” is very true.

A picture also breaks the monotony of your writing and makes your page more exciting and interesting just like the pages of a beautiful magazine.

The good news is, you don’t have to go around searching for images and worrying about copyright issues and attributing photos or giving credits. If you learn how to take your own photos and edit them or if you learn to draw or make posters on your own, you will never lack for having beautiful photos for your online writing again.

I take most of the photos I use on my blogs and other writing sites myself. I make collages from them, I add text to my photos making wonderful greeting cards, sayings with images and poems with graphics on them. I make my own posters. I draw my own graphics. I don’t have to worry about copyright issues. The only thing I worry about is people stealing my stuff.

These days you can take wonderful pictures and make beautiful graphics and images easily. Technology has made it possible. You don’t have to be an artist. You won’t need to know how to do fancy editing using a photo editing software. You don’t need special skills and the best thing of all is that many of them are free.

There is one thing you need though. You will need to either have a tablet computer or a smartphone. Most people already have one of these gadgets theses days. It has become a necessity and it is no longer a luxury to own one of these devices. For drawing apps, a tablet would be better because you will have more space to work on but photo apps are fine on smartphones.


Drawing Your Own Images Is Fun And You Don’t Have To Be An Artist Or Expert!

Here is a little image I drew for one of my parenting articles using a free drawing app
Here is a little image I drew for one of my parenting articles using a free drawing app

Quick Tip On How To Make Your Own Graphics And Images For Your Online Writing

  1. View the world from a camera lens and take pictures of anything and everything you like. Take pictures of the sky, the flowers in your garden, your food, textures you like, your footprints on the beach, autumn leaves, the sunset. Anything! Just take them and store them in a folder in your pc for later use.
  2. Download a photo editing app or drawing app, poster making app. There are plenty but in this hub I will tell you about four of my favorite ones. They’re all free to download and you don’t have to pay a cent or pay for extras. The lite versions are good enough to make beautiful graphics and images.

Take Pictures Of Anything And Everything

I took this picture of the flowers in my garden on one sunny day. It only took a minute and it turned out beautifully.
I took this picture of the flowers in my garden on one sunny day. It only took a minute and it turned out beautifully.

Take Pictures When You Are On Holiday And Every Other Day

I took this picture of Red Chinese Lanterns during Chinese New Year and use them for writing my Chinese holiday write-ups
I took this picture of Red Chinese Lanterns during Chinese New Year and use them for writing my Chinese holiday write-ups

Four Apps To Give You The Best Image For Your Writing

The 4 apps that I frequently use for my online writing are..

  1. ColorBlast – This is an app that allows you to add interesting color effects to your photos.
  2. Line Brush Lite – This is a free drawing app
  3. Phoster – This is a poster creation app
  4. MeituPic – This is a photo editing app

Color Blast Lets You Turn Your Pictures To Black And White And Allows You Make Spot Coloring

This is the image shown on the ColorBlast App
This is the image shown on the ColorBlast App

1. Use ColorBlast To Add Exciting Color Effects To Your Photos

Many people like to use Color Blast for their Facebook or Instagram photos or other social media photos. I use it to highlight and draw attention to a part of a photo. It is good for a quote or poem because it looks really professional and pretty.

However, this app is very specific in its use and there is not much further you can do apart from highlighting and/or changing the colors on certain parts of your photo. So if you are looking for an overall photo editing app that can do a lot of other stuff, this is not for you.

I included it here because I really like its effects. You can download it to use for this purpose and then remove it once you are done if you don’t have the space for too many apps on your device. That’s what I sometimes do for apps that I only want to use occasionally.

You can download Color Blast from the Apples iTunes store for iPhone And iPad.


You Can Use Color Blast Lite To Make Posters Of Quotes And Poems As I Did

Here is one quote I did with the Color Blast lite app.
Here is one quote I did with the Color Blast lite app.

The Line Brush Lite App Has Many Drawing Tools Even For The Novice

As shown on the icon that they use to represent their app, all you need are your fingers to draw
As shown on the icon that they use to represent their app, all you need are your fingers to draw

2. Use Line Brush Lite To Create Drawings For Your Blog Or Site

You don’t have to be an artist. Even child like kindergarten type of drawings has a special charm of its own.

I use Line Brush Lite to draw pictures for my blog. Sometimes I use it to draw simple illustration. For example, once I wrote an article about the different ways to wear a bib necklace. I couldn’t find pictures to represent what I wanted to put across to the reader. So I ended up using Line Brush Lite to illustrate my point. You can see my illustration below.

Line Brush Lite is available for download for both iPhone and iPad from Apples iTunes store or from the Google Play Store for Android devices both phones and tablets.


You Can Use The Line Brush App To Illustrate Your Point As I Did

I drew this simple illustration using my fingers to show the different ways to wear a bib necklace because I couldn't find a picture to put my point across
I drew this simple illustration using my fingers to show the different ways to wear a bib necklace because I couldn’t find a picture to put my point across

MeiTu Photo App Is Very Comprehensive And Include A Lot Of Tools You Can Use To Edit Your Photos

This is the English version of the app. You may see some Chinese words in there but the instructions are largely in English
This is the English version of the app. You may see some Chinese words in there but the instructions are largely in English

3. Use The MeiTu App To Edit Your Photos

“MeiTu” is the Chinese Pinyin which stands for the phrase “Beautiful Pictures” and it does exactly that. It makes your pictures beautiful! There are plenty of features here. I am going to have to write a full review of it on another hub so I will give just a very short description of it here.

You can either take pictures directly from it or use it to edit existing pictures from your device. There are many different effects you can choose from for taking

  • portraits
  • food
  • scenery
  • objects or
  • general pictures

Here are some other fun stuff you can do with your photos

  • You can add text and other materials to your photos
  • You can make beautiful collages with your pictures
  • You can add frames to your images
  • You can add special effects like sparklers to your photos
  • You can turn your photos into a drawing

You can do all of the above and more. I won’t go into all the details. Just download it and have fun experimenting.

Where To Download. I am including the links for download here because if you search the iTune or App Store or Google Play Store, you will find the Chinese version so use these links to find the English version easily.

MeituPic For iPhone And iPad

MeituPic For Android Phone And Tablet


Writing Online: Write Your Dreams To Reality


If You Like To Share Your Recipes Online You Can Use The MeiTu App To Take Pictures And Make Collages

I made this collage with the MeiTu App to share my peanut butter cookies with my Facebook friends but you can use it on your recipe blog or site
I made this collage with the MeiTu App to share my peanut butter cookies with my Facebook friends but you can use it on your recipe blog or site

The Phoster App Helps You Make Posters In A Few Minutes

You can either use the available templates as it is, modify them or start on a blank page
You can either use the available templates as it is, modify them or start on a blank page

4. Make Quick Posters Easily Using Phoster To Enhance Your Online Writing

I made the “Don’t Steal” poster at the top of this page using the Phoster app. It only took me a couple of minutes because I used the available template.

When you use phoster, you can choose from landscape, square or portrait. You can use pre designed template or modify those by changing the colors, words and font for your text. Or you can start from a blank page.

A poster is fun to make and can help you make your point very quickly, sometimes much more than a whole block of text. It also enhances your online writing and draws attention to some facts that you want to pinpoint to your readers.

Where To Download:

Phoster For iPhone or iPad


Do You Use Your Own Graphics?

Do you use any app to help you create images for your online content? If so, what?

  •  Yes, I use a photo editing app
  •  Yes, I use a drawing app
  •  Yes, I use a poster making app
  •  No, but I will use an app after reading this

See results without voting


Useful Tip When Downloading Apps

  1. Try to find free apps. Sometimes the “lite” or free version is good enough for your needs
  2. If you find that you are running out of space on your device, you can download the app for a specific need, use it, then delete it and download again when you need it again especially if you use it infrequently

You Can Watermark Your PIcutres To Protect Your Picture From Being Stolen


Thank You For Reading. Have A Nice Day! Please Leave Me A Comment Below If You Like This Page And Think It Is Helpful

I drew this picture using the Line Brush Lite App
I drew this picture using the Line Brush Lite App

Requirements Of A Good Furnace Repair Contractor

Air temperature in a house is paramount to our comfort at home. We need cold air in the form of a good air conditioner or heating when its cold. When any of this breaks down, we should have the means to get them back in order again as quickly as possible to restore the comfort in our homes.

When our heating/cooling system breaks down, we want them repaired quickly so we can enjoy the comfort of our homes again. Not to be able to get the air back to what it was previously leaves us cold and unhappy. Pun intended.

Below are the requirements we feel a good furnace repair contractor or technician should have.

We want contractors who can respond to us ASAP, on the spot if possible. One of the things we hate most about scheduling repairs is waiting for the repair technician to turn up!

To respond quickly is one thing, we also need technicians who know what they are doing. Someone who knows what they are doing when conducting repairs really makes a difference compared to someone who does not. We need on the spot repairs, not someone who has to run out or go back and forth for parts.

How many times have you experienced this? The technician comes to your home, gives you a quote, then says “I will come back again with the parts”. We don’t want that. Someone who is fully stocked upon arrival would be a plus points for Columbus furnace repairs.

When dealing with contractors, we would like to have someone who will quote reasonable prices. Flat rate is good so we don’t have to bargain. We don’t have to worry about being overcharged when there is a flat rate. Up-front pricing is important too. Do not every get your furnace repaired without getting an up-front quote beforehand so you don’t get a shock from the cost of repairs.

Quite often people forget about their furnaces until the stop working. To avoid that, you should schedule an annual cleaning and inspection as well. If you do forget however, remember these tips to find a good furnace repair person with all of the above requirements.


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